Shooting on 165 acres in Columbus

Discussion in 'Mississippi Gun Laws' started by Browning262, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Browning262

    Browning262 Full Poster

    I recently moved here from Florida and I had a run in with the police while safely shooting on my property.

    I've found a few different maps that show my actual dwelling either right on the columbus city line or right outside it, however I'm on 165 acres and 90% of the property is outside of limits.

    We have a next door neighbor who's house is in between us and highway 45, he lives on 10 acres and says he has no problem with us shooting right off the back porch. There is one more neighbor, just under a half mile south of us, who we believe called in the complaint.

    Long story short we were shooting skeet in the backyard, in a safe direction, into a backstop, and away from all other property. After about 2 hours of on and off shooting we had 2 columbus PD officers show up, who were very polite and proffesi9nal. They informed us our house was inside city limits and therefore we could not shoot off the back porch, however we could go out into the woods and shoot. When we questioned them about how far we had to go into the woods or where the city limit started/ended they were very vague and didn't offer much information as far as what is/isn't legal.

    I just wanted to know what we can shoot and where we can legal shoot it. It wouldn't be a big deal to walk back into the property however it is incredibly thick which makes it all but impossible to throw clay targets. Any legal guidance would be appreciated to avoid any further involvement with the police. Thank you and sorry for the poor write up, I'm on my phone.
    Jarhead5811, phillipd and fordpkup like this.
  2. gutdoc

    gutdoc Distinguished Poster

    My first move would be to contact the neighbors and politely discuss and attempt to alleviate any and all of their concerns.
    wmrebelhs, Jarhead5811 and SubGunFan like this.

  3. rigrat

    rigrat Semper Fi

    Have a surveyor plot the city limit line. Then talk to the neighbor after you know exactly where the line is.
  4. Browning262

    Browning262 Full Poster

    We were considering doing that, but we are not 100% sure on who called and did not want to accuse anyone or instigate the situation until we knew what kind of legal standing we have.
  5. Browning262

    Browning262 Full Poster

    Also, we were told by an individual at the gun shop, that in MS a city or county can't tell you where you can/can't shoot as long as you are on 50+ acres and 300 ft from any other property lines.

    This law is similar to one we had in Florida but I didn't have any luck looking it up, and I'm illiterate when it comes to interpreting written laws.
  6. rigrat

    rigrat Semper Fi

    I understand that I am the same way on n reading the laws most of the time. Seems I remember hearing something about the law you mention but not sure. Hopefully someone more up to speed will chime in.
    Jarhead5811 likes this.
  7. bubbat

    bubbat Gatekeeper to my corner of Hell.

    Doesn't matter where the city limit is as long as lot is 10 acres or bigger.

    45-9-53. Exceptions.

    (1) This section and Section 45-9-51 do not affect the authority that a county or municipality may have under another law:

    (a) To require citizens or public employees to be armed for personal or national defense, law enforcement, or another lawful purpose;

    (b) To regulate the discharge of firearms within the limits of the county or municipality. A county or municipality may not apply a regulation relating to the discharge of firearms or other weapons in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the county or municipality or in an area annexed by the county or municipality after September 1, 1981, if the firearm or other weapon is:

    (i) A shotgun, air rifle or air pistol, BB gun or bow and arrow discharged:

    1. On a tract of land of ten (10) acres or more and more than one hundred fifty (150) feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and

    2. In a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract; or

    (ii) A center fire or rim fire rifle or pistol or a muzzle-loading rifle or pistol of any caliber discharged:

    1. On a tract of land of fifty (50) acres or more and more than three hundred (300) feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property; and

    2. In a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of tract;

    (c) To regulate the use of property or location of businesses for uses therein pursuant to fire code, zoning ordinances, or land-use regulations, so long as such codes, ordinances and regulations are not used to circumvent the intent of Section 45-9-51 or subparagraph (e) of this section;

    (d) To regulate the use of firearms in cases of insurrection, riots and natural disasters in which the city finds such regulation necessary to protect the health and safety of the public. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to the lawful possession of firearms in the home, place of business or in transit to and from the home or place of business;

    (e) To regulate the storage or transportation of explosives in order to protect the health and safety of the public, with the exception of black powder which is exempt up to twenty-five (25) pounds per private residence and fifty (50) pounds per retail dealer;

    (f) To regulate the carrying of a firearm at: (i) a public park or at a public meeting of a county, municipality or other governmental body; (ii) a political rally, parade or official political meeting; or (iii) a nonfirearm-related school, college or professional athletic event; or

    (g) To regulate the receipt of firearms by pawnshops.

    (2) The exception provided by subsection (1) (f) of this section does not apply if the firearm was in or carried to and from an area designated for use in a lawful hunting, fishing or other sporting event and the firearm is of the type commonly used in the activity.
  8. turable.shot

    turable.shot Distinguished Poster

    There will be detailed maps in the Lowndes Co. Court House, that would give you a pretty good idea of the city boundary.
  9. A GPS receiver may help, if you can identify the boundaries by LAT/LON.
  10. bubbat

    bubbat Gatekeeper to my corner of Hell.

  11. Browning262

    Browning262 Full Poster

    So as long as I stay 300ft from anyone else's property line I should be good, correct?
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  12. bubbat

    bubbat Gatekeeper to my corner of Hell.

    Not sure but the way I read it, it's just 300ft from a house or building on their property, not 300ft from the property line itself, but like you said 300 ft from line and you should be good.
  13. rigrat

    rigrat Semper Fi

    You also have to concider:

    In a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract

    And if the city has a law against discharging a firearm within city limits not sure where you are going to stand.
    mascott likes this.
  14. Cliff731

    Cliff731 Danged ole' Hermit...

    A couple of things you might want to find out about...

    1. In what year did the city of Columbus annex a portion of your property.
    2. Exactly where their "line" is that takes in a portion of your property.

    By the way, I presume you are paying city taxes on that portion... and on your home too?

    The Lowndes County chancery clerk should have some county property plots too that show your land.

    I'm thinking that with 165 acres and your closest neighbor's residence (and/or occupied structure/dwelling) is more than 300' away as measured directly, you should be able to shoot anything anytime you want.

    One other consideration is that the Columbus P.D. might not cite you for discharging a firearm, but rather with "disturbing the peace"... i.e. - a noise complaint.

    While they might be patently "wrong", you could still end up in city court. Consider having an attorney "ready to go" if needed.
    Jarhead5811, maxhush and rigrat like this.
  15. Quickeye

    Quickeye Vietnam&PersianGulf Wars MSGO Supporter

    Ask neighbor to come on over and busta' few clays.
    Jarhead5811 and mascott like this.
  16. gutdoc

    gutdoc Distinguished Poster

    There is an app called Measure Map that will help you with distances from boundaries and homes.

    Here is the link to the free version.

    Measure Map Lite by Global DPI,

    My link failed!
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  17. Browning262

    Browning262 Full Poster

    Thanks, using this app we are 175 from the neighbor who doesn't care if we shoot, and 800ft from the neighbor we believe complained.
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  18. rigrat

    rigrat Semper Fi

    Unless the one that said he didn't care just told you that to point the blame away from him?
    wmrebelhs and Jarhead5811 like this.
  19. 45flattop

    45flattop Distinguished Poster

    This reminds me of an incident that happened to
    me and some family members some years ago
    when we were shooting on our own property
    well away from any neighboring property line
    and into a dam that created a pond so no
    stray rounds were going anywhere.
    After a couple of hours a Hinds County Deputy
    showed up, he had to break through a locked
    gate to get onto the property, an action I still
    to this day think was illegal as hades, and he
    proceeded to pull up behind us and blast his
    siren and nearly caused an AD to occur; he
    then proceeded to blithely comment that
    "this sounds like a young war", of course
    we were shooting nothing but .22LR from
    bolt actions so the pace of shooting was
    anything but rapid or noisy. Anyway, at
    his insistence we quit shooting, again on
    OUR OWN PROPERTY and went home
    after which I called an attorney to inquire
    on the legality of his actions and got
    mixed results. I should point out that we
    were miles from the nearest town or
    municipality and actually closer to the
    Magnolia range than to Jackson or the
    then unincorporated Byram though that
    came later. I later filed a formal complaint
    with the Hinds County SO that went nowhere
    fast, this was before McMillin was first elected
    Sheriff, I suspect that if he had been in
    office already that the outcome would have
    been different. That same deputy was the
    one who responded to our call when we had
    an attempted juvenile arson attempt on a
    new home we were building and we had to
    talk him through how to find our property
    yet he had no difficulty finding us when he
    came to harass us. As you might have
    surmised by now, I loathe the Hinds SO
    as a matter of habit.
  20. phillipd

    phillipd Distinguished Poster MSGO Supporter

    Browning, where you at? I'm 9/10ths of a mile off 45 on Caledonia Kolola Rd. Sounds like we are neighbors. Gimme a holler. That much land off 45 is nice. Some good hunting there just North of town. I may know some of your neighbors. If they have been here over a few years then they probably know me
    Mesquite, Jarhead5811, LearCo and 4 others like this.