ST PAUL, Minn. — Editor's note: The above video first aired Aug. 10, 2021.
A judge has ruled that people with permits to carry firearms will not be allowed to bring them into the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
District Court Judge Laura Nelson's ruling Wednesday came after promising a fast turnaround for her decision in preparation for the event, which begins Thursday, Aug. 26, and goes through Labor Day.
The Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus first came before the court on Aug. 19, asking Nelson to issue a temporary injunction to stop fair officials and the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office from enforcing their ban on guns on the premises.
In her decision, Nelson ruled that fair organizers have the power to "license and regulate...privileges on the fairgrounds[.]," and are "further empowered" by state statute to make rules consistent with law it considers necessary for the "protection, health, safety and comfort of the public on the Fairgrounds."
The judge also said the late filing of the injunction request factored into her decision to deny, writing: "the Plaintiffs have long been aware of the Society’s position on guns at the State Fair and that their extensive delay undercuts their claim of irreparable harm."
Gun owners argue the ban violates state law and the Second Amendment.
The ruling states that since at least 2016, fair visitors have been subject to bag checks at entrance points. The fair has also publicly acknowledged that weapons are not permitted inside the fairgrounds since at least 2003.