Horry County Council and the 2nd Amendment

By Paul Gable

The 2nd Amendment and the issue of firing weapons in close proximity to other people’s residences will again be discussed at the Horry County Council regular meeting Tuesday night.

It’s been nearly five years since Horry County Council decided not to vote on an ordinance that would restrict gun usage on private property in close proximity to residences.

At that time, the ‘Duck Dynasty crowd’, in full camouflage, packed council chambers to protest any restriction on their perceived 2nd Amendment rights with respect to where they could fire their guns in the unincorporated areas of the county.

In the interim, nothing has changed.

It would seem to be a matter of common sense that a person wouldn’t discharge a gun so that the bullets end up in a neighbor’s yard, especially if the neighbor is standing in his yard. But, that doesn’t seem to be the case in Horry County.

As I recall the discussion last time, wasn’t about where the gun was discharged, but, rather, about where the projectile could land that was considered being restricted. And that discussion didn’t even get to first reading of an ordinance.

There is no law in Horry County prohibiting discharge of firearms within a certain proximity of residences, according to county attorney Arrigo Carotti.

This issue has again been brewing in the county for the last year. In the interim:

Council chairman Mark Lazarus said we need to have a discussion (about the problem).

“As the county has grown and more and more housing developments have taken place in the unincorporated areas, protecting your 2nd Amendment rights, protecting hunters and everything else, we need to look and see, we need to protect the people living in their houses also and in the neighborhoods,” Lazarus said.

Council member Paul Prince said he had several complaints from residents in District 9 about guns being fired close to their houses and was asked by several constituents what county council was going to do about that and about the noise also.

Council member Al Allen said the council should look again at the need for a public firing range where people could go to use their firearms.

No one on council is looking to restrict the right of citizens to own a gun. However, there is nothing in the 2nd Amendment that says citizens have a right to open fire whenever and wherever they choose with total disregard to others. There is such a thing as common sense involved unless there is a clear and present danger to human life involved in the decision.

Attempting to restrict where firearms can be carried and used is worse than blasphemy in South Carolina. It will be interesting to watch the discussions on this issue progress.


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