BREAKING: Reed Postpones Harrisburg Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show


A would-be patron to the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show burns his ticket out of disgust at the show’s promoter for not allowing exhibitors to display modern sporting rifles (Facebook photo)

The National Shooting Sports Association has released this statement about the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pa.:

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.


Statement from the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show:

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 Feb. 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,”Burchett said. “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.”

UPDATE: Deer & Deer Hunting has learned that Reed Exhibitions plans to refund money to vendors who had paid by Jan. 24, 2013, to exhibit in the show, along with ticket refunds to anyone who had purchased tickets by that date. The following was included in an email sent to exhibitors by Reed Exhibitions but was omitted from Reed’s publicly released statement: Refunds will be provided for all fees paid to date (January 24, 2013) to Reed Exhibitions for the 2013 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show. We will detail the refund process on our web site and in an additional email by January 31, 2013.