Is it Gunshots or Fireworks?

As we approach the 4th of July, prepare to ask yourself the question, “Is that gunshots or fireworks?” The sounds of gunshots and fireworks can be incredibly difficult to tell apart, and there’s really no one way to tell the difference. To the human ear, gunshots and fireworks sound very similar, and even police officers can have a hard time identifying between them.

This YouTube video does provide good, general information. However, telling the difference between gunshots and fireworks is not as simple as watching a YouTube video. This is mainly because there is no one sound that can be attributed to either medium. There are various types of fireworks, as well as myriad models of guns that make a range of noises, making it difficult to ascribe concrete sounds for each device. The fact that they both combust using gunpowder also makes them hard to differentiate between.

If you are planning on celebrating the 4th of July by means of celebratory gunfire, please remember, ‘What goes up, must come down.’ There are myths out there that bullets shot into the air go into outer space, or descend with enough of a drag that they are not hazardous. Neither of these beliefs is true. While only a small percentage of bullets shot in the air will actually hit a person or a pet at the velocity to cause serious damage or death, it does happen. Also, firing a gun into the air is against the law and could result in criminal charges.


Let’s stay safe on the 4th of July!


Please be sure to share this information with the residents in your community.


Have a great week!


Officer Anwar Sillah

Community Outreach

Dunwoody Police Department