Skip to comments.Largest Pa. gun show says no to assault rifles
Posted on 01/15/2013 10:42:26 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe
Pennsylvania gun owners threatened to boycott the state's largest hunting and fishing expo Tuesday after organizers announced that they would ban the display and sale of assault rifles at this year's show. Reed Exhibitions, a British-based company that runs the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg each February, notified vendors of the change in policy over the last several days, a company representative confirmed to The Inquirer.
The presence of so-called assault weapons and high-capacity magazines might have served as "a distraction" from other aspects of the event in the wake of the recent school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and the ensuing national debate about gun policy, said Ed Several, a senior vice president for the company's North American operations.
"Given the current climate with those products right now, we thought, 'Let's take a break for a year,' " Several said. "There's so much more to the show."
The decision came two months after the company announced that this year's expo would feature several tactical-firearms vendors for the first time.
By late Tuesday, a news release on the show's website was replaced with a statement explaining the organizer's change of heart.
As news leaked out earlier in the day, it angered gun-rights advocates.
"I'm outraged that the show would just roll over when it comes to the Second Amendment," read a comment on the show's Facebook page. "We will probably be seeking a refund."
Another comment: "Sellouts! Say goodbye to my family and money."
Many called for a boycott.
Since the announcement, from three to five exhibitors of the 1,200 scheduled for the expo have dropped out, Several said. Other vendors have urged the company to reconsider its ban.
"As a hunting-focused event, we welcome exhibitors who wish to showcase products and firearms that serve the traditional needs of the sport," Several said. "Clearly, we strongly support the Second Amendment."
Debate since the Newtown shootings has centered on AR-style rifles and high-volume magazines used by the shooter.
Gun-control advocates have called for state and federal bans, while firearms enthusiasts insist the weapons have lawful roles in sports such as hunting.
Even what to call the firearms has become a point of contention. Gun-control advocates use the term assault rifle, but groups such as the National Rifle Association maintain that such descriptions are inflammatory and encourage other terms, such as modern sporting rifles.
The uproar in Pennsylvania came as legislators in New York state were approving the toughest gun laws in the country, and one day before President Obama was set to unveil recommendations of a task force led by Vice President Biden and charged with examining ways to curb gun violence.
Shira Goodman, head of the gun-control group CeaseFirePA, hailed the show's decision as a welcome development in the debate.
"Banning those kinds of weapons at a gun show is a tacit acknowledgment that as a nation we will at least have a conversation about those guns," she said. It "shows that the exhibit organizer is trying to be a part of the solution."
Several resisted efforts to read too much into the decision.
"It's a very small, small part of the show," he said of the expo, which also features exhibitors peddling everything from camouflage clothing to camping supplies.
Several Pennsylvania firearms vendors scheduled to exhibit at the show did not return calls for comment.
Many were attending the National Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, another Reed-run gun show expected to draw tens of thousands to Las Vegas over the next three days.
Steve Sanetti, chairman of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, welcomed manufacturers and shoppers to that event Tuesday with a speech in which he defended the industry.
"We are not the evildoers. You did not cause the monstrous crime in Newtown, and neither did we," he said. "Ours is a responsible industry that manufactures and sells lawful products to law-abiding citizens, who, in turn, exercise their constitutional right to own, use, and enjoy firearms safely and responsibly for lawful purposes."
Even in Liberal Austin Texas we don’t fool around with such nonsense.
Is Piers Morgan their spokesmodel?
Boycott it. Find a new sponsor; begin a new show/traditional marketing.
Brits running Pennsylvania's largest gun show? Does that make sense?
I envision empty parking lots.
As badly as the city of Harrisburg needs money, this will do them a world of hurt. People come from all over the place for this show. Not this year if this madness stands.
Don’t just threaten to boycott it, do it.
People have to push back at the local and grassroots regardless of any negativity the lousy media would report.
Great Gun Show at the AZ State Fair Grounds in Phoenix this weekend, 19-20 January. 5 buildings and an outside tent.
In other news, Pennsylvania’s “largest” gun show is no longer the largest as vendors and attendees stay away in droves.
Reed Exhibitions runs a lot of the big trade/merchandise shows. They’ve run the PGA Show (next week in Orlando) for years now. I’ve dealt with them for years and never knew they were British based.
Focus the boycott around the Second Amendment issues, not around a specific weapon.
Educate the people and the sheeple with facts and logic, not rants and anger.
Show the people that legal gun-owners are polite, knowledgeable and law-abiding folks, just like their neighbors.
Best way to defeat the Left is to anticipate their hate-filled rants and rallies with “love and lollypops” and some good literature on the Second Amendment.
They can’t stand niceness, and they hate logical, rational and legally-aware people.
Good! Let’s piss them off big-time!
I wouldn’t even consider attending such an exercise in anti-Americanism.
“Reed Exhibitions, a British-based company that runs the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show”
Says it all.
Why are a bunch of red-coat idiots running an American gun show?????
Anyone care to define an “assault weapon”?
Two of my FFL friends/retailers have pulled-out, solely on 2nd Amendment Principle. (Just talked to both of them yesterday afternoon about some pre-Christmas ordered Crimson Trace green laser grips for my 2 1911 Kimbers.)
They only have a few newly-arrived ARs/AKs/SCAR/SKS left/reserved for the show, but will now sell them all retail at their daily-mobbed stores, and save the money/time/labor and stay home to tend to their stores and customers.
I suspect others will follow.
Well, not that one anyway. That Mauser is a select fire C96 first manufactured in 1932.
Most Mauser C96s had fixed magazines and were charged with stripper clips.