Sound Thinking
Law Enforcement


NEWARK, Calif. – June 2, 2015 – In recognition of National Gun Violence Awareness Day today, SST Inc. shared key strategies for police and communities to combat illegal celebratory gunfire leading up to the July 4th holiday, among the busiest for celebratory urban gunfire.  National Gun Violence Day memorializes the lives of thousands Americans killed or injured each year by guns.  Based on current, measureable data from the Centers for Disease Control, there were 11,068 homicides committed with a firearm in 2011 in the U.S., which averages 30.3 deaths per day. The lives of countless others not killed are impacted each day by illegal gunfire. 

Celebratory Gunfire:  The Problem

Celebratory gunfire is a very serious issue that wounds hundreds and kills dozens of people each year.  Deaths and injuries are reported and investigated every year, across the country, when people are struck by random bullets speeding back to Earth.  For those hit by falling bullets, the chance of the wound being fatal is far higher than a typical shooting. Deaths from regular shootings are between 2% and 6%, while for those struck by falling bullets the death rate was close to one third.

The reason is simple – those unlucky enough to be hit by falling shells are more likely to be struck on the head1 .  A study by firearms expert Julian Hatcher  showed that .30 caliber rounds can reach terminal velocities of 300 feet per second as they fall. Research has also indicated that 200 feet per second is enough to penetrate the skull. Examples of fatalities due to celebratory gunfire abound.

SST statistics show that there are strong seasonal gunfire periods, where approximately15 percent of all gunfire incidents taking place on the holidays around New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July.  

Preventing Celebratory Gunfire

Community cooperation is key in reducing celebratory gunfire, according to SST, the maker of ShotSpotter® Flex™, and the global leader in gunfire detection, location, alerting and analysis.  SST offers these strategies for community leaders looking to partner with local law enforcement to curb the typical spikes in celebratory gunfire in their communities.

• Engage the community and fellow community leaders to be aware of the dangers of celebratory gunfire;
• Encourage citizens to report all incidents to local police, whether or not they are sure that what they heard was actually gunfire;
• Support an increased police presence to help communicate that law enforcement is serious about curbing gunfire;
• Alert the community to proactive enforcing;
• Spread the word about the dangers of celebratory gunfire.

“As concerned citizens, we recognize the consequences of gun violence on this first annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day,” said Ralph Clark, CEO of SST/ShotSpotter.  “With the upcoming July 4th holiday, certain irresponsible individuals in our communities “celebrate” by shooting guns up into the air. These ‘stray’ bullets can injure and kill innocent people.  We want to help law enforcement and local communities prevent celebratory gunfire by sharing proven strategies that have been used effectively in many cities across the U.S. and can be easily implemented in any city.”

SST has found that when law enforcement and the community work together to curtail celebratory gunfire, they have been effective in measurably reducing celebratory gunfire incidents.  Miami-Gardens Florida saw a 69% reduction in gunfire from one New Year’s Eve to the next when proactively educating the community on the dangers of illegal gunfire.  Effective actions that they implemented included innovative policing strategies, community engagement and the deployment of ShotSpotter.

For more information and tips, visit
About ShotSpotter
ShotSpotter Flex helps local law enforcement agencies by directing police to the precise location of illegal gunfire incidents enabling first responders to aid victims, collect evidence and quickly apprehend armed, dangerous offenders. The ShotSpotter actionable intelligence can then be used to prevent future crimes by positioning law enforcement when and where crime is likely to occur. With ShotSpotter Flex, police now possess a scientific barometer of success since smart policing leads to fewer shootings.

About SST, Inc.
SST, Inc. is the global leader in gunfire detection and location technology providing the most trusted, scalable and reliable gunfire alert and analysis solutions available today. SST’s ShotSpotter Flex℠ is the leading gunfire alert and analysis solution for detecting gunshots and providing critical intelligence to give law enforcement agencies the detailed real-time data needed to investigate, analyze and prosecute gun related crimes.  The company’s deep domain experience, along with cumulative agency best practice experience, enables measurable outcomes that contribute to reducing gun violence. SST is a proven solution provider with more than 90 installations across the United States and the world. Privately held, the company holds numerous patents resulting from nearly two decades of innovation in the area of acoustic gunshot location technology. 
Detail can be found at 
Details about our US and foreign patents can be found at                                                              

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Media Contact:  Lisa Hendrickson  +1 (516) 643-1642   Email: 

Copyright © 2015   SST, Inc™. All rights reserved. ShotSpotter Flex℠, ShotSpotter Onsite™, ShotSpotter SpecialOps™, ShotSpotter®, ShotSpotter Gunshot Location System®, ShotSpotter SiteSecure™, SecureCampus™ and the ShotSpotter logo are trademarks of SST, Inc™. SST and ShotSpotter technology are protected by one or more issued U.S. and foreign patents, with other domestic and foreign patents pending.