The Sheriff’s Office in Pasco County issued the plea via their Twitter account after an event to shoot at Irma attracted the interest of more than 50,000 people.
The tweet, which has been shared more than 17,000 times, read: “To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma. You won’t make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects.”
It follows a Facebook resident set up by residents in the state called ‘Shoot At Hurricane Irma’. More than 54,000 people have noted their interest while 27,000 have said they are participating.
Speaking to the BBC, co-creator Ryon Edwards said the event was created out of ‘stress and boredom’ with the response being “a complete and total surprise”.
“I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself. It has become something a little out of my control,” said the 22-year-old.
The hurricane’s eye is moving towards the southwest coast having already killed three people, while leaving more than one million buildings without power in the state.