Gun Show Bans AR Firearms. Gun Fetishists Scream. Gun Show Canceled.

The organizers of The Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show had to cancel their annual event in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania because angry gun owners made a huge stink over the fact that they banned AR weapons similar to the Sandy Hook shooter's AR from the event. Here's the explanation from the show's website:

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.”

Here we have responsible gun owners trying to do the right thing, and the frothing wanna-be mercenaries wouldn't allow them. So no gun show.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Estimates are that the postponement of the sport show is going to cost the local economy $80 million. This in a city that is already bankrupt. As a resident of the Harrisburg area and someone who works in the city, I can’t say that I’m happy about this decision. They should have told the gun vendors who were squawking to go pound sand and put on the show without them. The other hunting and fishing vendors would still have gone on. Maybe it would cost them some business, but it would have been better than nothing.

  • The irony is that the ESS position of emphasizing hunting and fishing over traditions over firepower is exactly what smart 2nd Amendment supporters should be doing in order to increase gun ownership in America. Instead they’re alienating families and businesses who might otherwise support their cause. Just goes to show how extremists will always shoot themselves in the foot (sorry, couldn’t resist).

  • Username1016

    I agree. The organizers are being both pragmatic and responsible, and
    they’re not backing down in the face of frothing hysteria from the
    extremists. I can’t think of any better PR for the state’s “hunting and
    fishing traditions” — they’ve just branded themselves as responsible gun owners. More power to them!

  • Draxiar

    It’s nice to see reason take a stand.

  • zirgar

    One thing in particular I like about this statement is that nowhere does it criticize the decision to regulate or restrict these guns, rather it points a finger at those who are raging out over the fact that the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show people made a smart decision.