The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, a very important industry exhibition opened to the general public, has been cancelled. Earlier this month the exhibition organizer Reed Exhibitions decided to ban any modern sporting (ie. semi-automatic) rifles from being on put on display. Over 100 exhibitors, including many of the largest exhibitors, pulled out of the show. Today Reed canceled the show blaming the cancelation on the companies who pulled out, ignoring the fact that companies attend the show to exhibit firearms and accessories that consumers demand, and consumers demand semi-automatic rifles. Apparently semi-automatic rifles are not family friendly, but pistols and bolt-action rifles are. The press release from Reed says …
Reed Exhibitions has decided to postpone, for now, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show given the controversy surrounding its decision to limit the sale or display of modern sporting rifles (also called ARs) at the event. The show was scheduled to take place February 2-10 in Harrisburg, PA.
“Our original decision not to include certain products in the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show this year was made in order to preserve the event’s historical focus on the hunting and fishing traditions enjoyed by American families,” said Chet Burchett, Reed Exhibitions President for the Americas. “In the current climate, we felt that the presence of MSRs would distract from the theme of hunting and fishing, disrupting the broader experience of our guests. This was intended simply as a product decision, of the type event organizers need to make every day.
“It has become very clear to us after speaking with our customers that the event could not be held because the atmosphere of this year’s show would not be conducive to an event that is designed to provide family enjoyment. It is unfortunate that in the current emotionally charged atmosphere this celebratory event has become overshadowed by a decision that directly affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits showcasing products and services for those interested in hunting and fishing.
“ESS has long been proud to participate in the preservation and promotion of hunting and fishing traditions, and we hope that as the national debate clarifies, we will have an opportunity to consider rescheduling the event when the time is right to focus on the themes it celebrates.”
This cancellation is really going to hurt the smaller companies who spend a lot of money putting together booths for exhibitions like this. No doubt to the dismay of East Coast gun nuts, this will likely be the end of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show as we know it. If the show happens next year, I don’t think there will be any guns on display.
We have just learned that Reed Exhibitions has decided to postpone the 2013 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show.
In the days following Reed Exhibitions’ announcement that modern sporting rifles would be prohibited from the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, the leadership of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has been in intense, frank discussions with Reed Exhibitions management in an effort to reverse this unacceptable decision. These discussions reached an impasse.
NSSF is in no way affiliated with, nor does it participate in or exhibit at this show in any way. Reed Exhibitions does, however, manage the NSSF-owned SHOT Show (though Reed manages the SHOT Show, all SHOT Show decisions, policies and actions are made at NSSF’s direction).
Because of Reed’s recent actions, NSSF is considering all options regarding the management of future SHOT Shows.
I can’t see the NSSF ever working with Reed again.