Asheville Tea Party sets gun raffle for Jan. 5 at disputed local gun show

Amid an emerging dispute over allowing gun shows on city property, the Asheville Tea Party will draw the winning raffle tickets for its controversial “Great Gun Giveaway” fundraiser Jan. 5 in the parking lot of the WNC Agricultural Center during the Land of Sky Gun and Knife Show.

Announced just a few days after the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn, the controversial fundraiser has attracted national attention and criticism from the Huffington Post.

Meanwhile, the event is also playing out as Asheville City Council Member Cecil Bothwell pushes for the city to enforce an ordinance banning the carrying of weapons on city owned properties, affectively outlawing gun shows from such areas. The Asheville Civic Center (now called the U.S. Cellular Center) and WNC Agricultural Center have both been rented to gun show promoters in recent years, despite this long-standing ban, Bothwell noted in a Jan. 1 press release on the matter. Bothwell said he asked City Attorney Bob Oast to look in to the matter.

In the meantime, the Land of the Sky Gun and Knife Show and the Asheville Tea Party fundraiser were set to continue. A press release from Asheville Tea Party chair Jane Bilello called the response to the raffle “overwhelming,” noting that the group sold out of its 200 allotted tickets. The raffle event asked participants to donate a minimum of $20 to the group’s political action committee in order to have a chance to win a semi-automatic rifle. Or participants could donate a minimum of $10 to have a chance to win a .22 magnum pistol and 30-round clip.

The rules stipulate that any winners must be North Carolina residents, pass all required background checks, and make arrangements with Capitol Pawn in Asheville for pick up of the weapons.  Should the winner not pass the background checks, another name will be drawn, according to the press release.

Read the Jan. 2 release in its entirety here:

For Immediate Release

“Draw for Asheville Tea PAC’s “Great Gun Give Away” in the Parking Lot at High Noon at the Land of Sky Gun and Knife Show, Saturday, January 5th

You did not win and you did not lose… yet. All of the ticket donations were sold out within three days of the formal announcement. The draw is to be held at high noon this Saturday in the parking lot at the Land of Sky Gun and Knife Show at the WNC Agricultural Center, Airport Road in Fletcher.

If you would like to come and join us for the event, we invite you to step out into the parking lot AT HIGH NOON! Do you feel lucky? 

The response to the raffle was overwhelming.  We limited the ticket donations to 200 per gun.  We had to return some donations because we were oversold and some came from out-of state Patriots. To respect the privacy of the winners, we will not publically announce their names.  Winners will be contacted by the ATPAC Board.  We advocate for responsible gun ownership, always. The winners must be North Carolina residents, pass all required background checks, and make arrangements with Capitol Pawn in Asheville for pick up.  Should the winner not pass the background checks, another name will be drawn.

Asheville Tea PAC stands firm in our support to rid ourselves of gun free zones sanctioned by the 1993 Federal Gun Free School Zone Act that legalizes killing zones of innocents, and to support law abiding citizens in their inalienable right to bear arms that is enshrined in our United States Constitution.  Law abiding citizens have respect for life and are our best defense against the mentally deranged and the sociopaths who commit unspeakable horrors. Statistics and the facts bear this out.  For more information, go to 

Asheville Tea PAC is a political action committee. We report to the North Carolina Board of Elections every three months, as do candidates.  We support candidates who support the principles of the Asheville Tea Party:  limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual rights, and free market capitalism.

The Land of Sky Gun and Knife Show at the WNC Ag Center hours:  Saturday, January 5th: 9 AM– 5 PM.  Sunday, January 6th: 10 AM to 4 PM.

We are also rolling out our next raffle that we are doing thanks to Carolina Readiness Supply in Waynesville. You can go ahead and enter the “Readiness Raffle” online now at


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About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

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6 thoughts on “Asheville Tea Party sets gun raffle for Jan. 5 at disputed local gun show

  1. barbara schutz

    I am outraged by this act of defiance in the face of the Connecticut tragedy. What is wrong with you people?

  2. Dionysis

    Maybe for their next raffle they can find a functioning brain and a conscience to raffle off.

    • ltbbq2

      Given that a “thinking person” would recognize that the best armed society in the world – happens to also have one of the LOWEST crime rates (Switzerland)…
      Would your point be that folks are blaming guns (an inanimate piece of hardware) when the REAL culprit is our societal sickness of ignoring the need for better health care???

      O.J. did not use a gun, nor did Tim McVey….but we can still buy knives, and fertilizer…

  3. Richard

    These Tea Party “explosions” will be responsible for the implosion of the Republican Party.

    • ltbbq2

      And if we are lucky – an implosion of ALL political parties..”Partism” is the problem Richard. They are both guilty of being stupid and greedy.

      BTW – are you even aware of what the 1st proposed constitutional amendment was? Or who proposed it?

      It was to make illegal the formation of political parties… By none other than Thomas Jefferson himself.
      How different the political landscape would be! In a positive sense for a change!

  4. Dionysis

    “Given that a “thinking person” would recognize that the best armed society in the world – happens to also have one of the LOWEST crime rates (Switzerland)…”

    A “thinking person” would look into what factors distinquish the Swiss from the U.S. For example:

    “Martin Killias, a criminologist at the University of Zurich, has conducted extensive studies on gun ownership in his home country. He estimates that about 28 percent of all Swiss households today have at least one gun, a very high number compared to surrounding countries.

    That’s because of Switzerland’s unique defense system. The country does not have a standing army; instead, all males are conscripted into a national militia of sorts. Females can join voluntarily. Training for these recruits continues intermittently through the years, and each conscript is given a firearm that he or she may take home to keep. As a result, Switzerland could very well have the highest gun ownership rate in Europe.

    Switzerland also has a very low crime rate. That’s why the perennial American debate about the best way to go about gun control often looks to this western European country, with gun owners and their advocates using it as an example of a place where the easy availability to firearms has helped to curb violence.

    But the counterpoint to this argument is right there on American soil. The number of guns per capita is high here, too — one Small Arms Survey found that there are 88 civilian-owned guns for every 100 people who live in the United States.

    But unlike Switzerland, the United States has relatively high levels of violence. The difference shows that the connection between gun ownership and crime deterrence is tenuous at best.

    In short, the United States and Switzerland have similarly high levels of gun ownership but very different crime rates, and this variance does not support a positive correlation between gun prevalence and the prevention of violence.

    In fact, easy access to guns can have a detrimental effect. In a recent study, Killias found that gun ownership in Switzerland may have actually increased instances of violence — and not in terms of street crime. Instead, the presence of guns has a significant impact on domestic crime.

    More background checks have been put into place, and it has been made illegal to carry guns in public. Furthermore, it was decided in 2007 that government-issued guns would not come with ammunition; that is now stored in centralized arsenals, outside the home, for emergency use.

    So, as military spending goes down and personal firearm regulations intensify, guns in Switzerland are more frequently seen as tools for national — not personal — defense.”

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