North Carolina - A bill to give New Hanover beach towns the power to enforce smoking bans on the beaches has hit a 'snag,' according to one local lawmaker.

At the New Hanover County local officials caucus Monday morning, Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti stressed the need for the law that would give the beach towns municipal authority.

Wrightsville Beach voters approved a smoking ban on the town's beaches in November with the support of about 65 percent of voters. The Carolina Beach Town Council also passed a smoking ban in August.

Ocean beaches in North Carolina are considered state property, but Wrightsville is an exception because it owns a large portion of its beach.

But there's a conflicting law that says parts of the beach that have been nourished are under state control, bringing up serious enforcement questions when it comes to the smoking ban.

State Rep. Ted Davis, R-New Hanover, has been assessing support within the legislature for the bill, but said he hasn't been able to come up with much.

"We are not going to be able to have a local law that would allow Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach or Kure Beach, if they so choose to pass such an ordinance, to enforce that on state-owned property," he said. "It is going to have to be a statewide bill.

"Not everyone in the state is in favor of allowing a local entity to enforce an ordinance, no matter what it might be, on state-owned property. That's the snag I'm facing ... Does the state pass a statewide bill to allow a local municipality to enforce a local ordinance on state-owned property? That's what the issue is."

Davis said he is still working on the bill and will continue to see what he can do.

Monday's meeting, held at Wilmington City Hall, was the second local officials caucus to be held this year, and local delegates have promised to continue to regularly hold these meeting throughout the legislative session.

The aim of the caucus is to bring together New Hanover's state and local elected officials, along with other stakeholders, to gather local input on future legislation.