The freedom to fire guns on some private property could come to an end, as officials signaled Tuesday night they will consider a ban on the firing of weapons in some parts of unincorporated Horry County.
The Horry County Council directed the Public Safety Committee to examine the issue, after William Wood of Pine Valley Estates complained during Tuesday’s meeting that his neighbor is endangering the lives of residents and making too much noise firing guns.
“That large gunfire is really disturbing the peace,” said Wood, who argued that a three-acre parcel of private property was too small an area for guns to be fired.
“There’s houses all around, people could get hurt and we always got kids there,” Wood said. “If I wanted to fire guns like I did when I was a little kid, I would kill somebody.”
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Horry County Attorney Arrigo Carotti told the council there is no law prohibiting the discharge of firearms in proximity to residential areas. He said that in a previous year, the council considered such an ordinance, but that it never passed the first reading.
I hunt all the time too, so I want to be very careful on how we look at that.
Mark Lazarus, chairman, Horry County Council
Councilman Al Allen said the issue highlights the need for a public shooting range in Horry County.
Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus asked that a summary of the current law be provided to the council so that the topic can be further studied.
After the meeting, Lazarus said the issue is a concern because of the rapid development across the county, where farm lands have been turned into new neighborhoods.
Despite the growth and density of the population, Lazarus says the law regarding the discharge of firearms has not been fully reexamined.
“We need to make sure we are protecting our citizens, so we will be looking at it,” Lazarus said. “But we don’t want to offend 2nd Amendment rights, and obviously we don’t want to offend hunters. I hunt all the time too, so I want to be very careful on how we look at that.”
The solution could be to just target housing developments, Lazarus said.
The next Public Safety Committee is scheduled for June 27 at 10 a.m.