After pushback, Eden Prairie City Council drops resolution to ban assault weapon sales

City leaders in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, tried to pass a resolution Tuesday that sought to ban the sale of assault weapons in the city. But, due to pushback from residents and limitations under state law, the council ultimately decided to drop the effort altogether.

It all started when the Scheel’s store announced it’s moving into the old Sears spot at the mall. Many residents were concerned about the sale of assault style weapons in a mall and reached out to the city council to do something.

Even if the council passed the resolution, businesses like Scheel’s and Gander Outdoor still planned on selling the guns because the non-binding resolution was more symbolic than anything else. Due to state law, Eden Prairie is blocked from passing ordinances prohibiting the regulation of firearms, ammunition or their components. 

Dozens of residents railed against the council’s efforts to ban gun stores from selling assault-style weapons in the city, as well as forbidding people under the age of 21 to buy weapons.

“Focusing on demonizing the specific type of gun just because it's militarized or scary is very misguided," said Kevin Vick with the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus. "This resolution discriminates against citizens based on age and seeks the outright ban of ambiguously-described rifles.”

Meanwhile, several companies likes Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods have adopted these policies in their stores nationwide in the wake of the shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Concerned residents left council members asking, “could we ask for gun stores to voluntarily restrict themselves to make people feel more comfortable?"

Councilman Ron Case reached out to Scheel's, Gander Outdoor and local gun shop Arnzen Arms to see if they would comply. They all said no.

“If local communities across America can help facilitate this conversation, bring the two sides together so we can actually substantively do something in the middle, that’s what I would like to do—more than just a symbolic resolution,” Councilman Case said.

Councilman Brad Aho said he wants to keep the community safe, but also thought the resolution was a waste of time.

“It is not useful for us to be passing things that we don’t have control over because we don’t have the authority as a city to regulate the sale of guns,” he said.

Minneapolis, however, did follow through on a similar resolution this spring, while the state Legislature has tabled all gun-related bills for this session.