Horry County Council turns off the lights on lasers

Green laser pointers were a huge problem along the Grand Strand last summer. Aircraft were affected at least 70 times by the pointers in our area.

Horry County Council has gone back and forth on laser legislation for months, and Tuesday evening they passed an ordinance into law.

This is Horry County's first laser legislation, and they passed it to make a point.

"This is a message to our public safety and our rescue personnel that hey, yes we have stood up and yes we have listened," said County Council Chair Pro Tem, Al Allen.

Lasers sold in Horry County, any color, have to be under one milliwatt. Anyone under the age of 18 cannot buy or posess a laser.

"We're in a position that we can issue tickets for it as well as seize the contraband," said Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes.

Horry County Police now must educate stores that sell the lasers to make sure they understand the ordinance or they'll face consequences.

Anyone who is caught violating the ordinance can face up to 30 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.

Myrtle Beach City Council was set to pass amendments to their laser legislation to make it stricter, but they deferred it until they council passed its ordinance.

The county's ordinance is set to be shared with Surfside Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and Myrtle Beach so that they can pass similar ordinances, according to Allen.

The ordinance will also be shared with local state representatives so they can introduce it as state legislation, said Allen.