ST. PETERSBURG — Officials are warning the public to watch out for two perennial dangers this Fourth of July: fireworks and celebratory gunfire.
Falling bullets have resulted in injuries and property damage in the past, according to the St. Petersburg Police Department.
That's why this Fourth of July police want to remind the public of their gun bounty program. It rewards tips that leads to an arrest on a weapons charge and the recovery of a firearm.
"We want to educate people that bullets that go up ultimately come down," said police spokesman Bill Proffitt, "and when they come down they can injure people or damage property. We want to educate people that celebrating with a gun is not appropriate."
A tip that leads to an arrest on a weapons charge and the recovery of a firearm is $1,000; tips that lead to the recovery of semi-automatic or automatic rifles will earn $1,500.
St. Petersburg Fire Rescue also urges the public to use common sense to prevent injuries and worse when using fireworks — starting with using legal fireworks.
"If it goes up and blows up,' said Fire Rescue Lt. Joel Granata, "it's illegal."