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City Government Can't Prevent Gun Shows Even On City Owned Property, Asheville Attorney Says

3:36 PM, Jan 28, 2013   |    comments
Asheville Gun and knife show
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Asheville, NC -- City government probably cannot prevent the WNC Agriculture Center from hosting gun shows even though Asheville owns the property, City Attorney Bob Oast has told City Council.

Oast confirmed today that he recently sent a memo to council on the subject following City Councilman Cecil Bothwell's Jan. 1 call to ban the shows on city-owned property.

He and Bothwell declined to release the memo, saying it is protected by attorney-client privilege.

Bothwell proposed that the city use an existing ordinance that prevents possession of firearms on city property as a tool to bring that about.

The AG Center, a state facility, hosts several gun shows a year.

Oast said today that the state has kept much of the authority over firearm regulations for itself.

"It is a confusing area of the (law), but the bottom line is ... the state tells us pretty directly what we can and can't do," he said.

The city leases much of the land the Ag Center sits on to the state. It used to be within the city limits but is no longer. Those factors make the issue more complex, Oast said.

Written by: Mark Barrett, Asheville Citizen Times 

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