The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show announced last week that America’s largest outdoor sports show will be banning “certain products” from the show. This week it is becoming clear that they might be regretting that announcement.
Reed Exhibitions, the British company promoting and organizing the event said in a statement “this year we have made the decision not to include certain products that in the current climate may attract negative attention that would distract from the strong focus on hunting and fishing at this family-oriented event and possibly disrupt the broader positive experience of our guests.”
The ban on “certain products” includes brochures or documentation that mentions or pictures any "black rifle" or high capacity magazines. This ban means that the Federation of Pennsylvania Sportsmen will not be allowed to sell already printed raffle tickets for a Bushmaster XM-15E2S A3 at this year’s show.
While the NRA maintained it’s usual sit on the fence attitude saying it, “…strongly disagrees with Reed Exhibitions’ decision to ban Modern Sporting Rifles.” Signaling that they would continue being part of the expo but yet urging “…you to follow the NRA and the outdoor industry’s lead by voicing your displeasure with Reed Exhibitions both before and during the show and encourage them to reconsider their position.” Interestingly enough, the NRA statement has now been removed from their website.
A boycott page was recently started on Facebook and now has over 10 thousand likes, up from 1300 last week. A group calling themselves the Firearms Industry Consulting Group is attempting to help many of the over 165 (and growing) former exhibitors reclaim the registration fee that Reed is refusing to refund. Since this group seems to be a bunch of lawyers, I would assume future legal action might be part of the strategy.
As of last week, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show listed Cabelas, The Outdoor Channel, Progressive Insurance and Comcast as the main sponsors. As of this afternoon, only Comcast and Progressive remain.
Kevin B. Reid, Sr., Vice President and General Counsel for Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc., said in a statement, “We are very frustrated by Reed Exhibitions' foolish decision to ban the display of modern sporting rifles.” Mr. Reid went on to say; “We feel that, as one of America's firearms manufacturers, we must withdraw from the show as a commitment to the 2nd Amendment rights of our customers.”
If you would like to make your voice heard on this issue, I have included many links in this diary that will help get you started. I encourage it!