Horry County considers green laser ban

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) -- Horry County Council is expected to consider a ban on certain types of lasers after recent problems with green lasers aimed at Coast Guard helicopters.

Council members met with Coast Guard representatives in Conway on Tuesday.

Twice in two weeks, helicopters conducting rescue missions along South Carolina's northern coast have had to land because of the lasers. County Public Safety Director Paul Whitten says there have been 70 hits by green lasers on aircraft landing at Myrtle Beach International Airport since May.

A proposed county ordinance would ban the use of any laser with a power of greater than one milliwatt.

Green lasers can temporarily blind pilots, especially when they're wearing night vision goggles. Aiming a laser at an aircraft is punishable by up to five years in prison.