Myrtle Beach City Council passes laws against loitering, panhandling

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Myrtle Beach City Council members passed two new laws they say will make the city safer.

The first is a law that bans loitering and crowding in public areas. City council also passed a law banning begging, panhandling, and sitting or lying on public sidewalks. City leaders have discussed instating those laws since the Father’s Day shooting on Ocean Boulevard that went viral, almost two months ago.

The city already had policies prohibiting both of those things in certain protected areas, including between 13th Avenue South and 21st Avenue North, as well as Broadway at the Beach. However, these new laws ban loitering and panhandling in all public areas within Myrtle Beach city limits. “These new ordinances are going to help our police move people along. Our tourists that come down or even our residents coming downtown, they don’t need to be bothered with someone trying to solicit money. That’s not what this beach is about,” said Mayor John Rhodes.

There are exceptions as to when people can sit on public sidewalks. The law does not apply to big public events including parades or rallies. It also doesn’t apply to people in wheelchairs, or others with health disabilities.