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Lawmaker questions apparent 'no gun shows' provision for new Vikings stadium

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news Willmar, 56201

Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

By Don Davis

Forum News Service

ST. PAUL -- A Minnesota lawmaker questions a provision in contracts for a new stadium that he says appears to ban many businesses from selling guns there.

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The chairwoman of the authority that runs the stadium said that Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, misread the document.

“We certainly never intentionally prohibited gun sales” in the documents signed last week, Chairman Michele Kelm-Helgen of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority said in an interview.

However, the document Kelm-Helgen and other authority board members signed a week ago says that it prohibits the stadium from being used by “any gun shop or other store whose primary business is the sale of guns or other weapons.” It also bans “adults-only use,” such as movies and other adult entertainment, as well as pawn shops or head shops.

Kelm-Helgen said the authority’s intention was to not allow the Minnesota Vikings football team to sell guns in its team store in the stadium.

In a letter to the authority, Garofalo said exhibitors at outdoor trade shows and the like should be allowed to sell weapons as long as they comply with laws and stadium policies.

“The people’s stadium should not, under any circumstances, arbitrarily prohibit these types of events...” the lawmaker wrote.

Kelm-Helgen said the authority so far has dealt only with rules dealing with the Vikings. “We haven’t really addressed whether we can have a gun show there.”

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