Man pulls out gun and fires at ground, rupturing gas line, as family set fireworks

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Tuesday, July 6, 2021
Celebratory gunfire leads to gas leak on Houston's south side
A family out celebrating the Fourth of July soon found themselves in a dangerous situation because of celebratory gunfire.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Fourth of July celebration in a Houston neighborhood could have ended in an explosion after police say a person shot a gas line, causing it to rupture.

HFD responded to a call about a gas leak shortly after 11 p.m. Sunday at a home on Bayswater Drive and Canterview.

According to police, a family was setting off fireworks at the home when a relative pulled out a gun and started firing into the ground.

A bullet hit the gas line, causing it to leak.

The line did not ignite, and the fire department was able to cap it.

Police detained the person who fired the shots.

Firefighters stressed the family is very lucky that the gas line did not explode.

Authorities have warned about the dangers of celebratory gunfire before.

In Texas, if you fire a gun without a legitimate reason such as protecting yourself or at a shooting range, it's disorderly conduct, a Class B misdemeanor. That carries a punishment of up to 180 days in jail/and or a $2,000 fine.

Within the boundaries of a city with more than 100,000 residents, celebratory gunfire penalties can be jailed for up to one year and fined up to $4,000, even if you're on your own property.

In 2019, Rep. Armando Martinez (D-Weslaco) sponsored House Bill 86, which would have criminalized celebratory gunfire. The bill would have made it a Class A misdemeanor to discharge a weapon without an intended target.

It would have made it a first-degree felony if the gunfire caused serious bodily injury or death.

It's an issue that has affected Martinez personally.

He was hit by celebratory gunfire in 2017 while celebrating New Year's Eve with his family.

The bill died.