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Crookston explores weapons ban for Sports Center

Crookston City Administrator Shannon Stassen

CROOKSTON — The city of Crookston will explore options to ban weapons during certain events in the Crookston Sports Center after the Park Board voted in favor of such a ban last week.

City Administrator Shannon Stassen said Monday the discussion was prompted by a report of a man carrying an open weapon in October at The Big One Art & Craft Fair in the Sports Center.

Stassen said the man was allowed to stay after he proved he had the proper permit for "open carry," but the situation still raised concerns from the public.

"There were 4,000 people through there," Stassen said. "It was kind of a shock to the people who were there as vendors and as customers to see that. ... It brought up a question that hadn't happened before."

Stassen said city leaders now are seeking input from city attorneys and the Crookston Police Department, but the issue is not ready to be put to a City Council vote anytime soon.

"In principle, we'd really rather not have firearms there for the majority of our events, but we're looking into exceptions and what they would look like," he said. "The council will have the final say, but the Park Board gave us that direction to dig deeper and look at some of the fine print."

For instance, Stassen said the city would not want to exclude the possibility of gun shows or permit-to-carry education in the center.