Horry County Council to take on green laser problem again

Last month, Horry County Council deferred the green laser nuisance to the state. But on Wednesday, it turned back on that decision and decided to take up the issue.

The council will hear the first reading of the ordinance at Friday's budget retreat.

It will take three readings to pass the ordinance as law. There's only one meeting in December, so the earliest it could pass would be January.

If the ordinance passes, it would ban the sale of green lasers to minors (17 or younger), prohibit the sale of lasers with more than one milliwatt of power, and require a warning with the sale of every laser pointer.

Any adult who is found guilty of using the laser improperly will be charged with assault and battery, a fine up to $500, up to 30 days in jail, as well as be held liable for any damage or personal injury.

If a minor is found using the laser improperly, he or she will be prosecuted in Family Court by the 15th Circuit Solicitors Office.

Also, a parent can be held responsible for the misuse of the laser pointer by a minor who is under their care and can be fined up to $500 and serve up to 30 days in jail.

For years, green lasers have caused a problem for hotels, businesses and even the Coast Guard along the Grand Strand.

In September, a green laser directed at a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter temporarily blinded the aircrew and forced them to land abruptly while trying to search for the source of three orange flares spotted near Garden City.

It was the third time in three weeks a Coast Guard search was hindered because of green lasers in the Grand Strand.