Reed Exhibitions, the organizer of the Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show, has decided to postpone the February event due to controversy surrounding its decision to limit the sale and display of “modern sporting rifles,” also called assault weapons, according to an announcement on the show's website.
The Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show, which would've run Feb. 2-10 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg, has seen large companies and groups including outdoor gear and firearms retailer Cabela's withdraw from the show following the ban on display and sale of assault rifles.
"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," Chet Burchett, Reed Exhibitions' president for the Americas, said in the statement on the website.
"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," he said.