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Lawsuit pushes for permitted individuals to be able to carry pistols at Minnesota State Fair

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A lawsuit lodged by the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus and two individuals demands that people who are permitted to carry a pistol be allowed to do so while attending the Minnesota State Fair, which is slated to begin later this month.

In addition to the group, the plaintiffs include two individuals who plan to attend the State Fair. One of those plaintiffs is identified in the suit as a member of the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus. The suit names as defendants Ramsey County, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher and the State Agricultural Society.

According to the Associated Press, the suit contends that the State fair, which is run by the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, is subject to state laws that let people with permits carry their guns into the State Capitol and other public locations. The AP noted that the society's authority is derived from state statutes but that the society and the fair do not get public funds.

Documents filed in the suit included a July letter from a law firm representing the State Agricultural Society, which appeared to be a response to a June letter from counsel to the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus.

"The State Agricultural Society has the obligation and the authority to impose rules and policies that prioritize the health and safety of fairgoers," the letter noted. "To that end, the State Agricultural Society has consistently maintained the policy that private citizens may not bring weapons onto the fairgrounds during the fair."

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said in a statement that the State Agricultural Society determines the admission policies, according to KARE 11.

"The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office has law enforcement responsibility inside the State Fairgrounds once attendees have entered one of the public gates," Fletcher said.

"The State Fair does not comment on pending litigation," a Minnesota State Fair spokesperson said, according to KARE 11. "We will maintain our time-honored Minnesota tradition of peaceful, family-friendly fairs by protecting the safety and security of our guests."

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