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North Mankato to Revisit Firearms Discharge Ordinance

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The City of North Mankato may take a second look at its firearms ordinance after a 12 year–old boy was charged under it last year for discharging an Airsoft gun.

Mike Johnston, the boy's father, has been urging the council to change the ordinance since last year.

The council didn't discuss the issue then, citing the juvenile court proceedings against the boy.

Johnston says the court matter is done, and it's past time the city address the issue.

‘It's now in diversion because of the cost of the legal fight of the county prosecuting a 12 year-old and by calling his own family members to testify against him… a 12 year-old,' he says.

While the city council passed several updates to the city code Tuesday night, they didn't address the firearms ordinance.

But city attorney Mike Kennedy proposed a meeting with Johnston and other parties with an eye toward scheduling a public hearing in the future, so the council doesn't have to wait until next January to change the ordinance.

'There are things I think everyone agrees should not be allowed, but where do you draw the line,' says Kennedy. 'And then put in reasonable definitions so the public has a good idea of what is and what's not allowed."

The ordinance for discharging firearms includes compressed gas or mechanical springs, which Johnston says could include many toys used by many children.