Asheville City Councilman wants ban on gun shows on city-owned property

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

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Gun showHere’s the press release from Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell. His call to action comes just days before this weekend’s gun show at the WNC Ag Center:

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.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

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  1. NFB January 3, 2013

    Interesting. The gun nuts always say that we don’t need more gun laws we just need to enforce the ones already on the books. Now we have an elected official wanting to enforce a law already on the books and the guns nuts are going, well nuts.

  2. Tom January 3, 2013

    Ironic that this story appears next to the movie review of Django Unchained on the Ashevegas homepage? How bout our favorite celebrities stepping up and saying no to scripts that promote gun violence. I’m all for background checks, btw. The sheriff does it when you buy a pistol permit and when you apply for a concealed carry permit.

  3. Debra McCloud January 2, 2013

    The Ag center’s website states:

    The Western North Carolina Agricultural Center is owned by the STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

    Steve Troxler, Commissioner of Agriculture

    1. Eric January 2, 2013

      That seems pretty reliable…

  4. Sean January 1, 2013

    Perhaps Mr. Bothwell (as well as the author of the citation in your article) should do some research. The WNC Ag Center is not a City-owned property. As a matter of fact, the recent action by the General Assembly in regard to the Asheville Regional Airport included a clause that will “de-annex” the property from even being in the city limits.

    1. Eric January 2, 2013

      Interesting, everything I have been reading online states that it is actually owned by the city, despite the state’s efforts to take it under their control. Where are you getting your information?

  5. John January 1, 2013

    Another lefty with nothing more than an emotional response that will solve nothing. Well, it will cost the city some revenue. I would expect nothing less of Bothwell. He’s not exactly a mental giant.

  6. steve chris January 1, 2013

    People like Bothwell are the real dangers to this country and our freedoms.

    1. Bob January 2, 2013

      Do I want guns sold in my city without background checks? Simple answer, of course NOT!

      1. Richard January 2, 2013


        According to NC law:
        All handgun transfers in North Carolina, whether through a dealer or via private sale, or presented as a gift, require that the intended recipient of the handgun obtain a Pistol Purchase Permit from his/her local Sheriff. You must go to your Sheriff, apply for a Pistol Purchase Permit (one per handgun you wish to purchase), and pay a $5 fee. When you take possession of the handgun you must present the Permit to the seller, who is required to retain it forever. If a Pistol Purchase Permit is not presented, both the buyer and the seller can be convicted of a Class I Misdemeanor.

        When you apply to your sherrif for the Purchase Permit, the background check it done. If the law is not followed then the ones not abiding are criminals. There is not a gun show loophole. Please get your facts straight before repeating what you’re heard from the news without research. A gun is no different than a axe, shovel, hammer or knife. It is as good or bad as the man using it. Permit holders are law abiding citizens and deserve respect not ridicule and being be littled.


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