Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell today called for the City of Asheville to ban gun shows from City-owned properties, including the WNC Agricultural Center.
“Our municipal code specifically prohibits the carrying of weapons on City owned properties. I don’t understand why that law is not being enforced,” Bothwell said.
The City of Asheville’s Civic Center and WNC Agricultural Center have both been rented to gun show promoters in recent years, despite this long-standing ban.
Bothwell explained, “Many citizens have contacted Council members asking for action in the wake of the Newtown school murders, but the City has very little ability to regulate guns, permitting or background checks under North Carolina and United States law. However, we do have the power to enforce the laws that are on the books.”
“Gun shows not only promote the ownership and use of weapons, including the glamorization of the assault-type, semi-automatic killing machines used in too many mass murders, but sellers at shows are not required to perform background checks on buyers. That means that guns intended for rapid fire killing may easily fall into the hands of persons who are mentally unstable or who have criminal intent.”
“This is one place we can easily draw the line,” Bothwell added. “The law is already on the books.”
Section 12-42 of Asheville’s City Ordinances reads as follows:
(a) No person shall possess, use or carry any firearm, gun, rifle, pistol, air rifle, spring gun or compressed air rifle or pistol, or other similar device or weapon which impels or discharges with force any bullet, shot or pellet of any kind, including arrows with metallic tips or sharp tips of any nature, designated to penetrate and propel a bow or spring dvice, in any park or other city-owned facility. Further, no person shall possess, use or carry any knife, other than an ordinary pocket knife, which means a small knife, designed for carrying in a pocket or purse and which has a cutting edge and point entirely enclosed by its handle and that may not be opened by throwing, explosive or spring action, or a kitchen knife, when it is used or intended to be used for its ordinary purposes, in any park or other city-owned facility.
It goes on to exempt those holding conceal-carry permits from the restriction on parks (as mandated last year by the General Assembly) and law enforcement officers.