CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County Council passed the first reading of an ordinance Tuesday night that would prohibit the "reckless discharge" of firearms within heavily-populated areas of the county.
The vote was 11 to 1, with Councilman Dennis DiSabato casting the sole "no" vote. The ordinance has to pass three readings before formal adoption.
Crafting an ordinance that limits where residents can fire a weapon while not infringing on residents' Second Amendment rights has been a task the county council has been grappling with for months.
According to the proposed ordinance, anyone who exhibits "a reckless, willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons, property or domesticated animals" will be charged with a misdemeanor. If convicted on a first offense, the person would be subject to a fine of up to $500 and/or up to 30 days in jail.
If convicted of a second offense within a year, the person would face a mandatory fine of $500 and 30 days imprisonment, the proposed ordinance states.
DiSabato, an attorney, said he has concerns over the ability to enforce the ordinance. He noted during Tuesday's meeting that it would be difficult for a solicitor to convict a person of being in violation.
"An ordinance is meaningless if it doesn't have any teeth," DiSabato said.
Chairman Mark Lazarus said the ordinance still has room for amendments, but called it a good starting point.
Second reading of the ordinance will also include input from the public.