WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- There's been a call to ban gun shows at the Winston-Salem Coliseum Complex and the fairgrounds. But the city's run into legal problems in making the move.

"The question came to us from citizens about, you know, why are we allowing those gun shows, given the violence that has occurred," said Mayor Allen Joines.

The reason is, even if the city wanted to pursue a ban, a state law wouldn't allow it.

"The General Assembly took away cities' ability to regulate gun shows, in other words, we can't prohibit a gun show at a venue that the city owns, unless we didn't have any events at all there," said Joines.

There are other statutory limitations.

"The statute makes it clear that sale and ownership of guns is legal, and so, since it's a legal activity, we can't prohibit it," said Joines.

For its part the city will continue enforcing past rules and ensure that gun sales here are both legal and safe.

Security is required at the events and guns are required to be unloaded.

“All sales have to be lawful, they have to do whatever background checks are required,"  said Joines.  “We try and control them as tightly as we can."

Greensboro’s Mayor, Nancy Vaughan, is also weighing in on the issue.  She’s proposed looking at the ban of sales of assault style weapons at the Greensboro Coliseum gun show.