An ordinance to limit how close weapons could be fired to homes in Long County got its first reading before the county commission this week.
The new gun ordinance was proposed by Sheriff Craig Nobles several months ago. It would require gun owners to provide more safety measures before firing a weapon on their property, and restrict any weapon from being discharged within 500 feet of a residence.
Nobles said the law would also require anyone who fires a weapon to have a berm or blockade to prevent the round from leaving their property.
He said there has been an increase in reports of weapons being fired in neighborhoods, and that one woman even reported finding a slug inside her home after hearing the shot.
The sheriff said each report would be checked individually, but if a person did violate the law they could be placed in jail for up to 60 days and fined up to $1,000.
Commissioners will now schedule a hearing to get public comments.
Chairman Robert Long reported commissioners did not accept an offer from the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station, to build a fire station. The offer had been made as the Marines hope to expand Townsend Bombing Range and the county will lose 21,000 acres from its tax digest. The chairman said a Nov.1 deadline had been set to accept the offer.
He estimated the county would be losing $140,000 in taxes annually.
He said if the fire station had been built it would have been used by the military base and Long County, but the county would have to furnish and staff it. The county could not afford that, he said.
Long said commissioners are now lobbying lawmakers over the issue.
In other business, the commission:
• Adopted a seal for the county. Long said there was no record of the county ever having one.
• Accepted a $266,633 bid from Douglas contractor East Coast Asphalt to pave two miles on Macedonia Road and Tibet Highway. A grant will pay for 70 percent of the cost, and the county will pay the rest. Long said the bid was the lowest given to the county.
• Hired Kierra Hamilton as supervisor of the election’s office.
• Approved a $800 contract to check for mold in the courthouse.
• Reappointed Lillian Simmons to the county’s CRC Advisory Council for a three year term.