Earlier this week, the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus filed a lawsuit against Ramsey County and the Minnesota State Fair. The lawsuit, Christopher v. Ramsey County et al., is in response to the fact that law-abiding gun owners with concealed carry firearms on their person will no longer be allowed to attend the Minnesota State Fair.
We, the four members of the New House Republican Caucus, stand by the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus in their lawsuit against Ramsey County and the Minnesota State Fair. We believe that the 2nd Amendment is absolute, and every American has the right to lawfully defend themselves. Now more than ever, we see a real need for Minnesotans to make sure they are protected.
In Minnesota, we have seen record levels of crime in the last two years. Violent crime is up 17%, murders are up 58%, and motor vehicle thefts have risen by 20%. Sadly, Minnesota recorded more murders in 2020 than any previous year on record. Much of this crime is occurring in Minneapolis and St. Paul, yet Democrats continue to denigrate and defund law enforcement.
Reverend Tim Christopher, a plaintiff in the case, knows all too much about the violent crime that is spiraling out of control. As an activist in the Minneapolis community, Rev. Christopher has spoken out against the persistent and tragic crimes that continue to crush Minneapolis. In a press conference discussing the lawsuit, Rev. Christopher emphasized the importance of being able to protect his family. We believe every Minnesotan should have the right to protect their loved ones.
Fundamentally, this lawsuit is about individual safety. Long after the crowds have gone and the attractions have shut down, thousands of Minnesotans are working to close the State Fair for the night. These business owners, State Fair employees, and farmers have to walk back to their vehicles and trailers after dark. These people are absolutely entitled to carry a concealed firearm to protect themselves. Minneapolis and St. Paul have become too dangerous to just take a chance and hope you are safe.
More than that, law-abiding gun owners have been practicing concealed carry at the State Fair for years.
Going forward, metal detectors will now be used at all State Fair entrances to enforce the ban on guns. This new policy of banning individuals who use their legal concealed carry permits is clear evidence that the State Fair and Ramsey County view our individual liberties with disdain. Minnesotans are intelligent, responsible people. The State Fair and Ramsey County should start treating us as such.
This lawsuit is working to protect our constitutional rights. We fully support the Gun Owners Caucus in their effort to defend our 2nd Amendment.
- Rep. Steve Drazkowski, Rep. Tim Miller, Rep. Cal Bahr, and Rep. Jeremy Munson