HARRISON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Common property problems include foundation issues, perhaps a hungry family of raccoons that won’t stay out of the garbage. But one Harrison County man says he’s being forced to protect his home from stray gunfire.
Paul Howd is a Navy veteran who says he’s so frustrated with stray bullets damaging his property and putting people at risk.
“It is just so frustrating to have your hands tied, just frustrating,” he said.
Howd lives in an unincorporated part of the county north of D’Iberville where noise ordinance rules have little impact. It’s also an area where hunting takes place. The problem he has is people don’t know his home and others are so close to where they’re shooting.
Howd isn’t alone in his frustration. Both he and his neighbor have had their property damaged over a dozen times due to stray gunfire.
For safety, Howd has invested thousands of dollars in protection. He installed bulletproof windows and even created a berm out of mulch. While these defense methods have helped, the question is why are they needed.
“Since we have been here, we have had the police come out to our house no less than ten times," said Howd. "We have had our shed shot twice. We have taken shrapnel from one of the bullets that hit the window. We have had the ground down here hit several times. Our pool was actually shot out one time.”
Howd is now asking officials in Harrison County to help put an end to the gunfire.
“The reason we are going in front of the board is because we have tried to go through the law several times and the law... their hands are tied. They can’t do anything because there are no ordinances."
Howd stressed how dangerous it would be to not put an ordinance in place preventing shots from being fired.
“We could be simply sitting out on the deck and have a bullet come flying through the chair. Simply someone that was sitting in that chair - my child, my grandchild, sitting in this chair - they would have worn that bullet," said Howd, pointing to a bullethole in a plastic deck chair.
Howd is set to address the board Monday to propose a no hunting or shooting area that will extend from White Plains Road to the east of the Biloxi city limits and from Tuxachanie Creek to the south of the city limits.
Howd has created his proposal not only for the protection of his property but for the sake of future development.
“We have shooting all year round because people around here think this is an undeveloped area when actually it is becoming more and more developed," he explained.
In addition to the new developments that have been built over the last several years, more are under construction now. Several lots have been cleared for housing and one plot of land is designated to be a K-8 school. D’Iberville High is also less than five miles away.