Celebratory gunfire at New Years is a tradition worldwide. People fire guns into the air simply to make noise. Is this dangerous? It could be. This can be a big problem when the shooters are also drinkers. Accidents can always happen around loaded guns, cars, boats trains, airplanes and alcohol increases that possibility.
The danger to people outside if the immediate vicinity is way overrated. If the gun is discharged in a steep angle to the ground the bullet falls to earth at terminal velocity and that speed is determined by weight. Unless that fired bullet lands on a crowd hitting a person is incredible rare. If the bullet hits someone at terminal velocity the likelihood of injury is small.
Shooting into the air is stupid, wasteful and frightens people. To say its bad for gun owner’s public relations for is an understatement. The discharge a gun around people who are without ear protection could permanently damage hearing. Why do that to your friends and family?
Laws have been passed in nearly every city of any size prohibit this activity. Don’t do this and discourage your friends from this activity. There are still plenty of places were shooting is reasonable and expected.
This kind of behavior is acceptable only by ignorant jerks. The most dangerous flying object on New Year’s should be a Champaign cork.