Here’s a heads up, everybody. If you’re planning on attending the Minnesota State Fair, and I don’t know why anybody would, be prepared for longer than usual lines to get in because every attendee is going to be treated like a criminal:
Going to the Minnesota State Fair this year? Make sure you have your ticket in hand and your bag open.
The State Fair says bags, purses, coolers and packages will now be subject to search at each of the fair’s 11 entrances. Prohibited items include weapons and fireworks but also alcoholic beverages, drones, bikes, skateboards, skates and hoverboards. Other items may also be refused at the discretion of fair management or police.
Of course this is being done under the guise of security. Realistically it’s nothing but security theater though. Searching bags won’t, for example, find any weapons being concealed on a person’s body (although that’s something they cannot legally prohibit if a person has a carry permit but the law has never stopped the State from violating people’s rights). Also notice that alcoholic beverages are prohibited, which will greatly boost the profits of the State Fair alcohol vendors. Drones, bicycles, skateboards, and hoverboards aren’t a security risk to anybody so giving officers discretion to ban them in the name of security is nonsense.
There’s something else worth noting here. The Minnesota Agriculture Society, which runs the Minnesota State Fair, is a public corporation [PDF], which is a fancy way of saying a government created and owned corporation. The Stair Fair grounds are owned by the State of Minnesota. In other words the Minnesota State Fair is a government event run by a government corporation that happens on government property. If the Bill of Rights actually meant anything these bag searches would be a violation of the Fourth Amendment since warrants aren’t being issued against each fair attendee. But the Bill of Rights, like all government laws, doesn’t actually apply to the State so it can violate your rights with impunity and if you complain it might investigate itself and determine it did nothing wrong.