New law clarifies ban on overnight camping on the beach

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Panama City Beach City Council passed a law Thursday about camping on the beach.

The law makes the ban on overnight camping clearer.

Camping on the beach is illegal between the hours of 1 a.m. and 7 a.m.

According to police Chief Drew Whitman, the law has been on the books since the 1970s.

However, with this law the bookend time of 7 a.m. was officially added.

The council's vote was not unanimous.

"I think that it's restrictive. I think that maybe it needs to be clarified a little bit more," Council Member Josie Strange said. "I think that people that walk at night or early in the morning should be allowed to do that."

Chief Whitman says more than 70 arrests have been made for sleeping on the beach this year.

The city's attorney says the law does not require someone to show their ID.