Ending gun shows on city property faces legal complicati­ons

An assertion by Asheville City Council member Cecil Bothwell that the city’s ordinance banning firearms on city property should mean an end to gun shows here is unlikely to hinder this weekend’s show at the WNC Agricultural Center. State law restricts localities’ ability to regulate or prohibit gun shows, and city staff are currently looking into the implications of those rules.

Emails shine light on city’s reaction to Occupy Asheville

Xpress has obtained 270 emails from city of Asheville staff concerning Occupy Asheville. The emails reveal law enforcement considering their approach to (and surveillance of) the protests as well as city staff and Occupy representatives debating freedom of assembly, among other things. These emails are available to the public in a searchable database.
photo by Bill Rhodes

Asheville city ordinance doesn’t prohibit handing out political fliers

Earlier this month, the Asheville Police Department arrested Helen Roberts for passing out fliers as part of Occupy Asheville, claiming it violated a city ordinance. The charges against Roberts have since been dropped, and City Attorney Bob Oast tells Xpress that the ordinance she was arrested under only deals with commercial activity — not handing out political fliers in public spaces.

City Attorney: ordinance generally allows personal megaphones

Street preachers using personal amplification are a regular sight at Bele Chere, but an Occupy Asheville protester was told by an Asheville Police Department officer that city ordinance requires them to put away their megaphone. However, according to City Attorney Bob Oast, the city generally allows the use of personal amplification in public space.

City looks into regulating street preachers

The presence of street preachers (and people opposing or arguing with them) is an annual fixture at the Bele Chere festival. Now, after complaints, the city of Asheville is looking into ways to regulate or curb the activity.

Goldsboro-based street preacher Tony Denson, speaking during Bele Chere 2010. Asheville resident Jeremy Carter, in the background, brandished a rainbow flag in protest of Denson’s remarks. Photo by Michael Muller