Horry council passes final reading of ordinance regarding 'reckless discharge' of firearms

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The Horry County Council passed the third and final reading of an ordinance Tuesday night that will prohibit the "reckless discharge" of a firearm within the county.

Following amendments made by councilmen Al Allen and Harold Worley, the ordinance makes it unlawful to fire a weapon between the hours of 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Approved indoor firing ranges are excluded.

Additionally, the ordinance will prohibit the firing of weapons on property owned by Horry County Parks and Recreation, such as ball parks and boat ramps. The exception is if it is for an authorized event.

According to the 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.

The ordinance passed 10 to 2, with council members Dennis DiSabato and Tyler Servant casting the "nay" votes.

"I don't want my 'no' vote to be perceived as though I'm against having an ordinance all together. I just felt like the ordinance, as it was drafted, is not going to be as effective as the one that we could have in the early iterations of the ordinance," DiSabato said following the meeting.

In other business from Tuesday's meeting, a large number of Carolina Forest residents were prepared to voice their opposition to the proposed development of hundreds of new homes.

Carolina Forest resident Carole VanSickler read a statement on behalf of a number of her neighbors, who asked for better infrastructure before more houses are built.

The end of her remarks were met with applause from many in the audience.

Chairman Mark Lazarus said a request had been made by the developer to withdraw the resolution from the agenda that called for a rezoning request.

"We've heard you loud and clear," Lazarus said.

Council members then approved a motion to remove the item from the agenda. At that point, a large number of the audience left.

Earlier this month, the Horry County Planning Commission voted to recommend against the development of almost 500 new homes in Carolina Forest.

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