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Minnesota Lawmaker Questions Provision That Bans Gun Sales At New Vikings Stadium

Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, a Minnesota lawmaker is questioning a provision in contracts for the new Minnesota Vikings stadium that prohibits a number of vendors, such as adult stores, head shops, pawn shops and gun stores, from being open for business.

Writing in a letter sent to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority on Thursday, Garofalo wanted an explanation regarding the signed agreement.

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

The chairwoman of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority said that Garofalo got the wrong impression about the document.

“We certainly never intentionally prohibited gun sales” in the documents signed last week, Chairman Michele Kelm-Helgen told the West Central Tribune in an interview.

However, Garofalo disagrees by saying, “I’m also puzzled why the MSFA would single out law-abiding gun dealers, and put them in the same category as adults-only entertainment,” the Star Tribune reports.

The lawmaker also said exhibitors at outdoor trade shows should be permitted to sell weapons as long as they act in accordance with the stadiums laws and policies.

“This provision was never included in the Metrodome lease, was not included in the new Vikings stadium legislation and was not identified as an issue or a problem that needed to be addressed prior to this agreement,” Garofalo said.

The Minnesota Management and Budget office also released the names of 22 financial institutions on Thursday. These institutions, including U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo Securities, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, will help countersign the $498 million taxpayer share of the Vikings stadium.

According to the Pioneer Press, a Management and Budget office spokesman said the selection of a sponsor will take a few weeks, but more than one agency could be chosen. A firm date has not been set yet for sending out the bonds, which will be carried out for the next two years.

Construction will begin in November 2014, with a planned opening for the 2016 season.


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