Update: Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show postponed

Written by Craig Layne, Morning Edition Host/Reporter | Jan 24, 2013 2:17 PM
hunter gun.jpg

(Undated) -- Organizers have postponed the"Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in the wake of a boycott by firearms vendors.

Reed Exhibitions runs the show that was scheduled to open February 2 at the Farm Show Complex.

On its website this morning, the British company announced it would consider rescheduling the event "when the time is right to focus on the themes it celebrates."

Reed banned the sale and display of assault rifles in the wake of the Newtown, school shooting.

James Diehl is the sales manager at Trop Gun Shop in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County.

He says his business was the first to boycott the show.

"I don't think that we had an idea of how much support we were going to have," Diehl says. "The fact that this morning, the list of vendors that pulled out was up to 307 was shocking. It was just going up every single day."

Diehl says dropping out of the show was done "on principle” because the shop owner felt it wasn't appropriate being told what he could sell, especially if the weapons are legal.

Reed Exhibitions is refunding vendors' deposits for the event.

Diehl says even if the company reverses its assault weapons ban, he expects most people involved in the boycott will stay away from any rescheduled event.

Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Tom Marino criticized the assault rifle ban and the decision to postpone the show, saying 74 million dollars in economic activity will be lost.


This story was updated at 2:17 p.m. on 1/24/13

Published in Harrisburg, News

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