Skip to comments.Great American Outdoor Show: With NRA in charge, all legal guns are welcome
Posted on 04/16/2013 3:33:37 PM PDT by ConservativeInPA
There will be no question if guns will be allowed at the new sports and outdoor show coming to the Farm Show Complex next February.
That's because the National Rifle Association is now running the show.
Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste announced today that the NRA will replace Reed Exhibitions as sponsor of the 2014 Great American Outdoor Show, to be held Feb. 1-9, 2-14 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, Pa.
If they are legal, the firearms will be welcomed.
With local officials by their side, the NRA announced Tuesday that the now defunct Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show is becoming the Great American Outdoor Show.
This new show will be bigger and better in every way, promised David Keene, the NRA President, and Kyle Weaver, the organization's Executive Director for General Operations.
It will be a national event, they boasted, finishing every day with country stars and distinguished speakers on midstate stages. Keene and Weaver talked of building partnerships within the community -- keeping at least three full-time staffers in Harrisburg -- and with other outdoors organizations.
The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show collapsed this winter when hundreds of vendors threatened to boycott after the promoter, Reed Exhibitions, banned the sale and display of assault weapons. At the time, the NRA was among the boycotters. That collapse cost the region an estimated $80 million.
The cancellation was a tragedy, Keene said, one that will not be repeated.
The promise of a show at least that large had Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste and David Black, the Harrisburg Regional Chamber President, beaming during the announcement. They smiled wide when the NRA detailed signing a contract with a two-year right of first refusal, with the potential for an even longer deal in the future.
"We're not moving into town, doing the show and leaving with the money," Weaver said. "We're making a seven-figure investment and we're happy to do it."
Haste bristled when asked if bringing the NRA -- an organization at the very center of the national gun control debate -- risked a backlash.
"(Any potential promoter) could have a backlash," Haste said. "You had a company last year that had a completely different philosophy, and they killed the show. There was a backlash against that."
Mary Smith, of the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau, noted that many major cities compete to host the NRA's annual convention. This year's show in show in Houston is expected to draw 90,000 to 100,000 people. Not only will the hotels be filled -- the NRA wants to encourage more overnight visitors -- but banquet halls and conference rooms normally empty in early February will be booked solid, Smith said.
"You had a company last year that had a completely different philosophy, and they killed the show. There was a backlash against that," Haste said.
Like the old outdoor show, this will continue to feature fishing, camping, hiking and trapping, in addition to hunting and shooting sports, Weaver said. According to the contract, no one vendor can have more than 10 percent of the floor space.
This will not be a gun show, or a show exclusively for NRA members. The NRA has never run this type of overarching outdoors show before.
Did it want to take over this show to make a statement about the Second Amendment?
"We've been looking for this kind of opportunity for a long time," Keene said. "It has nothing to do with the current political, ideological situation.
"On the other hand, what happened here in Harrisburg was symbolically important because it showed and demonstrated that the narrative some people wanted to put out was wrong, and that was the only people concerned about Second Amendment rights were gun people.
"What happened here in Harrisburg was a massive demonstration that the entire outdoor community cares about what's going on right now."
The Farm Bureau Commission -- including Black, Haste, Smith, representatives of the Farm Show and the Department of Agriculture -- chose the NRA from among 17 potential promoters. It was the only applicant that offered the national reach and resources to grow the show, Haste said.
It was important to move fast, Haste said, before the show -- billed as the largest of its kind in North America -- wound up in Hagerstown or Richmond or Pittsburgh.
Dauphin County used $58,000 in tourism money to pay a deposit to make sure the Farm Show would be available for the show's traditional Feb. 1-9 run. That money will now be returned, Haste said, though it could be folding into marketing costs.
There was no doubt the NRA wanted to keep the show in Harrisburg, Weaver said. The NRA has more members in Pennsylvania than any other state.
As part of its outreach efforts, Weaver said the NRA wants to offer firearm training sessions to local police departments during the week of the show. Youth hunting and shooting instruction will happen during that time too. The NRA will reach out to local and national outdoors organizations to fill in the areas of expertise it lacks.
Several times since February, Haste has said cancellation of the outdoor show hit the local economy like a stock market crash. He has heard from many local businesses that have not recovered.
During the press conference, Keene was asked if he really meant to say the cancellation was a tragedy. Keene, citing the economic impact, did not back off.
"I absolutely do think it was a tragedy," he said. "That doesn't mean it's the only tragedy that's ever taken place in the world, but it's one we can fix."
Tens of thousands of constitution loving, mid-state patriots along with vendors of all sorts sent Reed packing back to the UK by boycotting the show. It shows if you standup to liberals you can easily kick their butts and in the long run end up with something much better.
Dauphin County Commissioner Jeff Haste announced today that the NRA will replace Reed Exhibitions as sponsor of the 2014 Great American Outdoor Show...
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Take that, Brits!
This is fantastic new for gun owners and supporters of the 2A!
Now all we need to do is to recall Toomey!
How much ya wanna bet that’s real fur...?
Yes, we need to do something about Toomey. He needs to be primaried. Before posting this article, I had just sent my daily hate email to Tommey.
Where is PETA?
Oh, it’s one of them so it’s okay. I get it/s
I used to go to the show when my dad ran the stand for Toyota in the 90’s. It was a great place back then but DAMN all those duck calls lol.
He gets one a day from me as well, as well as several very impolite phone calls (they don’t respect my vote, why should I respect them any more?)
It is a real fur. The local rumor is that the fur coat was lent to her by a local fur store for her inaugural ball three years ago and she hasn't returned it. Most of her family is jail. She is a typical inner city illiterate that has never worked a day in her life; very representative of the majority demographic of Harrisburg.
Your ping services are requested.
What a piece of work...but then, we see that kind of thing all over the place.
Someone should inform the kind people at PETA about this douchebag’s fur coat.
She’s a “scumbag” Now Dan Miller... he’s a douchbag.
I’m going in 2014.
Probably not fake or cultured pearls, either.
Dan Miller is a liberal faggot. Papenfuse is a terrorist supporting commie.
If you see posts of interest to Pennsylvanians, please ping me.
Thanks Conservative in PA & lightman for the heads up