Harrisburg, PA – Amid a firestorm of controversy surrounding a decision to limit the sale and display of modern sporting rifles (MSRs), Reed Exhibitions has decided to postpone the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show (ESS), which had been scheduled for February 2-10 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex. Meanwhile, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), owner and sponsor of the Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show, which is managed by Reed, issued a statement saying it is “considering all options regarding the management of future SHOT Shows.”
Reed Exhibitions posted this statement on the ESS web site: “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, president for the Americas, Reed Exhibitions. “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.”
The NSSF also posted a statement:
“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.”
Reach Chet Burchett at (203) 840-5942 or email@example.com; Chris Dolnack at (203) 426-1320 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Ed Several, general manager, Eastern Sports & Outdoor Show, (203) 840-5932 or email@example.com