Crime

He'll shut down his back yard gun range after Harrison County neighbors complained

Some neighbors of Christopher Mullett are concerned about a shooting range he has set up in the back yard of his Saucier home that sends bullets into the woods around their homes. One neighbor went to the Harrison County Board of Supervisors seeking help.
Some neighbors of Christopher Mullett are concerned about a shooting range he has set up in the back yard of his Saucier home that sends bullets into the woods around their homes. One neighbor went to the Harrison County Board of Supervisors seeking help. jcfitzhugh@sunherald.com

A Harrison County man says he is shutting down a backyard target range that was worrying his neighbors.

Christopher Mullett said he wants his neighbors to know if they hear any more gunfire, it won't be coming from his backyard, where he had been firing at targets in his backyard for about a year in the Twin Lakes subdivision about five miles northwest of Gulfport.

"If it's going to help them have a better way of life, it's really not that important that I shoot out there," he said. "I'll just load up my guns and go down the road and find another spot."

Jessica Akers, a woman who lives nearby, came to the county Board of Supervisors on Monday asking them to pass an ordinance that would outlaw such gunfire in a platted subdivision. Right now, her only option is to file a complaint for disturbing the peace.

Mullett said he doesn't agree with the need for an ordinance but he does want to go along with his neighbors.

"I'll probably just take the targets down and put them away," he said. "It's not worth it. If something did happen. If it hit car or busted a window.

"I understand. I see why she's angry."

He does doubt stories that people have found bullets that they believe came from his backyard through several hundred feet of trees and landed on a deck or near a trampoline. He said the bullet he was shown didn't have much, if any, damage and he doubted that it could have ricocheted through trees and been in that condition.

"I do have the right to shoot," he said. "But I won't for my neighbors sake. It just makes sense for me to be the bigger person and stop. I had no idea it was bothering so many people. I thought it was just one woman."

He said he always tried to make his range safe and after Akers called the Sheriff's Office, he had planned to make the backstop even bigger and stronger.

"Even if they don't pass the ordinance, I'm probably not going to shoot," he said. "But I'm not out there shooting bullets in the air. I was trying to do it as correctly as I could."

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