Monday night, North Myrtle Beach City Council voted six to one to pass a ban on tents on the beach.
This was first reading of the ordinance, so council must vote on it again.
Lifeguards say the big tents severely limit their ability to see the water and often make it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through.
The ban does not include beach umbrellas.
There were those on both sides of the issue at the meeting.
"They've got to look at safety. If they can't see their children out there and other people can't see their children because these big tents are higher up and they block you. If their kids were out there, then they would understand it real quick," said North Myrtle Beach resident Gene Sheppard.
"I'm a believer in basic rights under our constitution: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And some of the happiest days have been our son being raised here in the summertime under a tent," said part-time North Myrtle Beach resident Richard Hook.
North Myrtle Beach is not alone. Horry County Council is also considering restrictions for tents on the beach.