Three men have been charged for carrying firearms in downtown Asheville on June 21 at a demonstration, according to the Asheville Police Department.
Police Chief David Zack has defended the decision to not immediately arrest the counter protesters at the Black Lives Matter demonstration.
APD says they did not arrest the men during the event in order to avoid further escalation.
Zachary Steve McFarland of Asheville, William Jay Turknett of Hendersonville, and Joshua Cody Case of Candler, were charged with a statutory violation. Case was also charged with carrying a firearm within a city park.
Bringing firearms to a demonstration violates North Carolina General Statute 14-277.2, "Weapons at Parades, Etc., Prohibited," according to APD. This statute has not been enforced at other events in the state.
The incident is still under investigation and APD is encouraging anyone with more information to call the department at 828-252-1110.