Cecil Bothwell is a City Councilman in Asheville, North Carolina. He also ran for Congress in the 11th District but was trounced in the Democratic primary. He is proudly the left-most member of the Asheville City Council.
Today Bothwell called for banning gun shows on city-owned property. He wants to use a city ordinance that prohibits the possession of firearms in parks and other city-owned property (other than concealed carry holders in parks.)
From a report in the Asheville Citizen-Times:
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.The ignorance in Bothwell's statement astounds.
"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.
"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,” Bothwell said. “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."
First, as a councilman, Bothwell ought to know what properties the city owns or doesn't own. The WNC Agricultural Center is owned by the State of North Carolina and operated by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Second, his statement about background checks and "rapid fire killing" is so ludicrous that I'll just pass on it other than to say that FFLs are required to make NICS checks regardless of where the sale takes place.
Third, and on this I might excuse Bothwell, given Nordyke v. King was in the 9th Circuit. Despite being in another circuit, Asheville would be on very shaky legal ground to try and ban gun shows on city property. I don't think the City of Asheville wants to be in Federal court for 13 years like Alameda County. Precedent is against them. More on Nordyke can be found here.