Group sues for right to carry handguns at State Fair

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A gun owners’ group sued the Minnesota State Fair and Ramsey County on Tuesday, demanding that permit holders be allowed to carry handguns on the fairgrounds during the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

The lawsuit filed by the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus in Ramsey County District Court argues that the State Fair’s ban on weapons violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. The plaintiffs also include a preacher and a group member who say they want to carry their guns for self-defense when they visit the fair.

The lawsuit asks the court to order that Minnesotans who have valid carry permits be allowed to carry pistols at the fair, and that the sheriff’s office, which will provide law enforcement at this year’s fair, be prohibited from enforcing the ban.

The State Fair and Ramsey County issued statements saying they do not comment on pending litigation.

“We will maintain our time-honored Minnesota tradition of peaceful, family-friendly fairs by protecting the safety and security of our guests,” the State Fair statement said, without elaborating.

Ramsey County’s agreement with the State Fair says the fair is responsible for security screening at entrances to the fairgrounds, including bag checks and metal detectors, and that the sheriff’s office is not.

The lawsuit argues that the State Fair, which is run by the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, is subject to the same state laws that allow permit holders to bring their guns into the State Capitol and other public places. And it says those laws supersede local regulations.

The Minnesota State Fair opens Aug. 26 and runs through Labor Day.


Subscribe to the Legal News!

Full access to public notices, articles, columns, archives, statistics, calendar and more

Day Pass Only $4.95!
One-County $80/year

Three-County & Full Pass also available