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Celebrating safely on the Fourth

CHAMPAIGN -- During holidays like this, there are reports of people shooting into the air. This is something police take very seriously.
CHAMPAIGN -- On this Fourth of July, police say they want people to celebrate responsibly. During holidays like this, there are reports of people shooting into the air. This is something police take very seriously. Investigators say they will take you to jail if you shoot a gun in the air.

This is especially serious because of recent violence which includes a deadly shooting last Tuesday on Hedge Road. Police have said they're concerned about retaliation. Even if violence like that doesn't happen, a gun shooting into the air could sound like it. Another concern is illegal fireworks.

"We want them celebrating in a safe way," said Champaign Police Lt. Jim Clark. "We'd prefer they go to the Freedom Celebration fireworks, let the professionals handle the fireworks, enjoy it. Come out with family and enjoy the fireworks and have a good time."

Basically anything that launches into the air or explodes is against the law. Police say they've already had reports of people lighting fireworks in their neighborhoods. They expect that number will go up as the night goes on.

It can be hard to tell the difference between the sounds of fireworks or a gunshot, so that's why they're urging everyone to be careful and be smart.
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