The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus is suing the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, Ramsey County, and Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher (in his official capacity,) for the right to carry at the Minnesota State Fair.

“The State Fair has, for years, claimed that firearms are prohibited at the State Fair and has occasionally posted signs to this effect. In 2020, the State Fair announced that they would be installing metal detectors. In addition, the State Agricultural Society chose to disband their police department and instead has contracted with Ramsey County and the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Department, through a Joint Powers Agreement, to provide law enforcement services at the 2021 State Fair,” according to a statement on the group’s website. “As a subdivision of the government of the State of Minnesota, the State Agricultural Society, which operates the Minnesota State Fair, is completely preempted by state statutes from interfering with the lawful exercise of a Minnesota Permit to Carry under MN 624.714 and from local regulation of firearms under MN 471.633 and MN 624.717.”

The lawsuit also alleges violations of the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act for the State Agricultural Society’s failure to update and ensure accuracy of their data inventory and data access policy (which the Agricultural Society’s counsel admits does not exist, but are required by law), the group claims in their statement.

“We are seeking an injunction against the State Agricultural Society, Ramsey County, and Sheriff Fletcher prohibiting them from excluding or ejecting Minnesotans with a valid permit to carry from the Minnesota State Fair and an order requiring compliance with the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act and the imposition of a civil penalty for their violation of the act.  We are also asking for the award of our full costs, expenses, and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in this action,” the group states.