Don't Fire Guns at Hurricane Irma, Florida Police Warn

Graphic from the "Shoot Irma" Facebook page. Facebook

Florida police have warned people not to fire their weapons at Hurricane Irma after thousands responded to a Facebook event.

"To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma. You won't make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects," the Pasco Sheriff's office tweeted late Saturday.

The Facebook event is titled "Shoot at Hurricane Irma" and over 50,000 people have expressed interest in taking part.

"Let's show Irma that we shoot first," the event description says.

Some who responded appeared to take the event seriously, posting pictures of themselves with what appeared to be firearms.

For others though, the event was tongue-in-cheek, with a graphic circulated by members showing bullets twisting around in the force of the storm.

"Bullets come back don't shoot," reads the text on the graphic.

Ryon Edwards, who created the Facebook event, told the BBC earlier in the week that he had not expected anyone to take the event that seriously.

"A combination of stress and boredom made me start the event. The response is a complete and total surprise to me," the 22-year-old said.

"I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself.

"It has become something a little out of my control."

Irma is expected to make landfall at about 7 a.m. in Florida Sunday.

The Category 4 storm is packing wind speeds of 130 mph, with authorities issuing urgent evacuation orders for 5.6 million people in its path.