During their Oct. 22 meeting, City Council adopted an update to Asheville’s weapons ordinance and we’d like everyone to understand what this means.
The update clarifies the existing City ordinance by specifying that it prohibits dangerous weapons on City buses and firearms in other areas, such as City buildings and grounds, including the Transit Center and designated recreational facilities.
Both the Public Safety Committee and Multimodal Transportation Commission unanimously recommended approval of the updated ordinance, Section 12.42 of the City’s Municipal Code.
There are limited exceptions to the new ordinance, such as for sworn law enforcement officers. The ordinance does not prohibit the lawful possession or carrying of dangerous weapons on public streets and sidewalks.
However, we would like to point out some areas that the ordinance specifically addresses, as follows:
- Weapons on City property: It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully and intentionally carry, possess, or have within his or her immediate access any dangerous weapon or firearm while in public-owned buildings, on the grounds or parking areas of those buildings, or in public parks or recreation areas.
- Weapons on City buses: It shall be unlawful for any person to willfully and intentionally carry, possess, or have within his or her immediate access any dangerous weapon while riding a City bus.
- Prohibiting concealed carry handguns at City recreational facilities: In accordance with N.C.G.S. §14-415.23, the prohibition will apply to conceal carry handgun permits at recreational facilities identified on a City list (in Appendix G). The list of facilities this applies to will be reviewed regularly by the city manager and updated as necessary.
Also of note, while people are permitted to possess a small pocket knife, the ordinance also applies to any blade in excess of 3 ½ inches in length.
The ordinance draws a distinction between firearms and other dangerous weapons. Under state law, the City is only allowed to prohibit guns within their buildings and peripheral facilities. For more details, please review Section 12.42 of the City’s Municipal Code online.
Here is the staff report to Council, including the ordinance verbiage: