Horry County Council needs to finally address the problem of reckless shooting.

After nearly a decade of debate, the issue largely remains unresolved. The stray bullets of target shooters continue to strike nearby homes and buildings. Residents call the police, but officers have limited tools to deal with the challenge.

Even though council members enacted a reckless shooting ordinance three years ago, they still receive complaints about suburban shooting. Of the more than 1,100 gunfire complaints county police responded to in 2019, nearly 430 came from within platted subdivisions.

It’s clear what some council members, particularly those in growing communities such as Carolina Forest, Burgess and Little River, want to see: a ban on shooting in residential areas.

It’s also clear that it’s past time for such a policy.

Municipalities like North Myrtle Beach, Conway, Myrtle Beach and Surfside Beach have regulations outlawing the discharge of firearms in city or town limits.

The county needs to take a similar approach with its urban corridors.

As some council members noted this week, there’s no need for a countywide ordinance. The problems in Green Sea are not the same as those in Carolina Forest, and this type of policy should be narrowly tailored to address problem areas, not force rural communities to follow the same regulations needed in the suburbs.

Such an ordinance also has nothing to do with the government prying guns from residents’ hands or infringing on their Second Amendment rights in any way.

It’s a common sense measure. As councilman Gary Loftus noted this week, “It’s not OK to shoot guns toward people’s houses. It’s just not. I don’t care where you are.”

Loftus is right. And while we remain opposed to council members creating unnecessary regulations, it’s obvious that a ban on neighborhood shooting is long overdue.


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