If you’re a gun owner or hunter anywhere within a day’s drive of Pennsylvania, there’s a good chance you’ve at least heard of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in passing. It’s an absolutely massive outdoor show that has previously allowed firearms vendors to showcase their wares alongside outfitters looking whisk you away on a new hunt. Not this year.
We saw news from a credible source last Friday that the show was putting a ban on modern sporting rifles & magazines. Not only can the firearms and magazines not be on display, “no brochures or documentation that mentions or pictures any ‘black rifle’ or high capacity magazine will be allowed.” We asked around about the issue, and of course, noted as soon as we saw the statement that the company that actually puts on the show is none other than Reed Exhibitions – the same company that NSSF contracts with to put on SHOT Show. Needless to say, Reed did not institute such a ban on SHOT, only on the ordinary consumers that will be frequenting the ESOS. To them, it’s apparently a privilege that only credentialed people can look at the guns or hear their names, but we lowly citizens have no rights to speak or see these firearms and accessories.
Needless to say, the post we saw about the potential ban was verified this week. What’s more, according to one vendor who posted their letter to Reed online, Reed has seemingly violated their agreements with vendors on not only what would be allowed, but how parts of the show would be marketed. Domari Nolo Defense Consulting reports:
In particular, the removal of the promised Tactical section and renaming of that part of the event in a way that belittles the efforts of companies involved is unacceptable.
We would not have agreed to be included in a ‘Wild West’ area had that been the original agreement. Our sponsors also do not want such an association, and have pulled their support of our show presence.
In fact, according to other exhibitor reports, the organizers behind the ESOS won’t even return phone calls or emails to the exhibitors concerned and impacted by the decision. In other words, our money and the money from vendors who sell guns we use was good enough for Reed before, but now they want to have us banned from the premises.
Fortunately, we gun owners are happy to listen. Sebastian & I were planning to attend the Eastern Sports & Outdoors Show – something we have done while also lending a hand to NRA’s booth in the past. We pay for our own entrance fees and we support the vendors on the floor. Well, we did do all of those things. We will not be doing it this year. We will also ask our family members in the area not to attend.
Reed is more than happy to take the money of the modern firearms industry from NSSF with SHOT Show, and word on some forums is that they are keeping the money of the vendors who are pulling out now that they can no longer support the show’s restrictions on their products or those related to their products. They will take our money, but they will work against our Second Amendment rights and actively work to hurt the shooting sports communities. That is a problem.
People boycotting the show have already started to organize, and they are also doing great work in highlighting the exhibitors who are taking a significant financial loss and pulling out of the show over this decision – even when their products aren’t being banned (yet).
Gun owners, especially those in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland, are asked to contact Reed’s headquarters at 203-840-4800, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by fax at 203-840-5805.
Or, as boycotting folks have noted, the information for the Reed employees (or director contractors) assigned to run the ESOS were previously published online, and some of the key folks include:
Group Vice President – Ed Several
Phone: 203-840-5932 Fax: 203-840-9932 Email: email@example.com
Event Director – Chris O’Hara
Phone: 717-368-7487 Fax: 203-840-9868 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Relations – Deb Davis
Phone: 717-834-6267 Fax: 717-834-6207 Email: email@example.com
Marketing – Cathy Kitlasz
Phone: 203-840-5871 Fax: 203-840-9781 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have a moment, also consider checking out the products of some of the companies that have decided to stand with us and lose the investment they paid to exhibit at the show. Here are the ones I have found so far:
- Nature Blinds
- Cutting Edge Bullets
- Lancaster Archery Supply
- Atlantic Tactical
- Boondock Outdoors
- Whitetail Bosses
- Trop Gun Shop
- Dead Ringer Hunting
- Domari Nolo Defense Consulting
- Kinsey’s Outdoors
- Direct Action Tactical
- Hunters and Guides Connection
- Upper Canyon Outfitters
- Zook Cabins
- Full Circle Outdoors
- The Warmbag
- Drop Tine Outfitters
- Northern Outdoor Lodge
- Hunter Safety
- Outdoor Edge Knives
- Major League Bowhunter
- Eastern Chapter of the Wild Sheep Foundation
- Foxpro Game Calls
- Cold Steel
- Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs
In addition to the above vendors who are sacrificing thousands of dollars just in deposits and many more thousands in lost sales, The Bear Whisperer, Fred & Michele Eichler, Lee & Tiffany Lakosky, and Ralph & Vicki Cianciarulo are withdrawing from their promotional and seminar appearances.