Assault weapons banned from 2013 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Assault weapons banned from this year's Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show

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The exhibitor in charge of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show has banned all assault weapons from next month's event at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.

Alex Cameron, general manager of Kinsey's Outdoors in Mount Joy, told abc27 that Reed Exhibitions—which runs the annual show—informed him of this year's policy change, which prohibits all "tactical-style" weapons and high capacity ammunition from being displayed or sold.

The ban is a result of the "current political climate," a Reed spokesperson apparently told Cameron.

"We're disappointed in Reed's decision to move forward with their ban on certain types of recreational firearms and accessories at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show this year. This comes as a surprise considering we were solicited and encouraged to come as an FFL holder to display firearms by Reed's three years ago, with no restriction on what could or could not be sold," Cameron said in a statement to abc27.

"Considering that Reed's has involvement with what is considered one of the world's largest firearms, hunting and law enforcement trade shows, the annual SHOT Show, we're surprised at their decision. Reed's is fully engrained in all of the shooting sports industry; something the public may not realize. They support the manufacturers and dealers who attend the SHOT Show each year, many of whom currently are displaying and selling tactical weapons and accessories as I type this, but several weeks later they turn their backs on them. I think the general public, those who support the decision and those who don't, deserve an explanation. A company generating revenue on the sale of these weapons this week won't support the sale of them in February," Cameron said.

Shortly after Cameron spoke with abc27, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show issued an official statement on behalf of Reed Exhibitions:

"The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show is a unique celebration of the authentic hunting and fishing traditions that are cherished by millions of Americans and their families. We are proud to celebrate these pastimes by featuring 1,200 exhibitors offering a diverse range of products from outfitters to fishing boats and RVs, from archery to art and from clothes to cabins.

As a hunting-focused event, we welcome exhibitors who wish to showcase products and firearms that serve the traditional needs of the sport. Clearly, we strongly support the 2nd Amendment. However, 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.

ESS is proud to participate in the preservation and promotion of the rich hunting and fishing tradition passed from generation to generation by American families."

The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show runs February 2-10.

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