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State legislator concerned gun shows not welcome at new stadium

Posted by: Baird Helgeson under Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: October 10, 2013 - 5:12 PM

A state legislator is raising concerns over the agreement for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, saying it would prohibit gun shops and firearms exhibitors from being in the facility.

Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, sent a letter Thursday to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority seeking clarification on the newly-signed stadium-use agreement.

"I am concerned that this arbitrary provision could exclude hunting expos or other outdoorsmen events," he said.

Garofalo is misreading the agreement, said Michele Kelm-Helgen, chairwoman of the sports authority.

She said the provision only impacts a proposed Vikings retail store inside the new stadium, an amenity not in the existing Metrodome.

The new agreement would not prohibit the owners of an outdoor expo or gun show from leasing the facility for an event, Kelm-Helgen said.

The Metrodome has hosted large outdoors shows in years past, but exhibitors at those shows did not sell firearms. Kelm-Helgen said the Metrodome has never hosted a gun show.

"We still could accommodate a show of that nature," she said. "We are not creating any new policy one way or the other."

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