Asheville councilman wants gun shows stopped in city - FOX Carolina 21

Asheville councilman wants gun shows stopped in city

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A man takes aim with his handgun at an outdoor firing range. (File/FOX Carolina) A man takes aim with his handgun at an outdoor firing range. (File/FOX Carolina)
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Asheville City Councilman Cecil Bothwell said Tuesday he wants to ban gun shows in the city because they break the law.

Bothwell said the city's municipal code specifically prohibits the carrying of weapons on city-owned properties. He said both the Asheville Civic Center and the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center have been rented to gun show promoters in recent years, despite the rule.

"Many citizens have contacted council members asking for action in the wake of the Newtown school murders," Bothwell said. "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."

Section 12-42(a) of Asheville's City Ordinances reads:

"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 device, 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."

Bothwell said gun shows promote the ownership and use of assault-type weapons. He said the sellers at the shows are not required to perform background checks on buyers at the shows.

"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," Bothwell said.

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