NRA’s Sportsman’s Show “Way Over Reed’s Head”

“This is way over Reed’s head.” – Woman who worked with Reed to put on the Eastern Sports Outdoor Show & now works with NRA to put on the Great American Outdoor Show

Reading this article that talked to vendors from gun shops, fishing lure retailers, boat dealers, hunting outfitters, and more, the overwhelming response appears to be that NRA knows how to put on a bigger, better sportsman’s show than what Reed put on previously.

I find it interesting the vendors who attend other shows said this is one of the best they have attended, and NRA plans to release exact numbers on how many people attended which is something that Reed was never willing to do. Perhaps the end of the old show will really end up being better for everyone in the community.

6 thoughts on “NRA’s Sportsman’s Show “Way Over Reed’s Head””

  1. “”I’ve heard not complaints here””

    “Similarly, he had not concerns”

    Is that phrasing a PA thing? Or is the writer just really in need a good copy editor?

  2. This show seems somewhat outside NRA’s core missions, so I wonder how long they’ll continue to run this show. I suspect the NRA will sooner or later hand the show operations (if not the entire show) off to someone else, or spin-out the internal show running operations into a separate organization.

    1. It’s run by General Operations, so I don’t think that they will be spinning that off anytime soon. As for operations, they do partially rely on local contractors, as that article highlights. Two of the organizers they quoted don’t work for NRA (or haven’t in the past), but were contractors who also happened to work on the previous version of the show under Reed.

      The show isn’t really outside of their mission at all. They used to do a sportsman’s show in Maryland that focused on hunting and shooting. I don’t know the degree to which they had fishing involved just because I never went to it. They cancelled that show after Maryland passed their gun control package and then ended up getting the contract for the Harrisburg show. Because that show has an exceptionally long tradition of including related outdoor vendors, they included them. It would not be the success it was if they didn’t include all of the traditional retailer types catering to sportsmen that were previously included.

      It’s not nearly as disconnected as you’d think in terms of the community, either. There are gun clubs here in Pennsylvania that also have lakes for fishing. Many shooters enjoy doing both, which is why both activities are offered.

      I also think that NRA made it a great opportunity for families to pass down the traditions. They had a family section with Eddie Eagle, and they had an air gun range that was frequently filled with kids learning how to safely use firearms.

      As long as they didn’t lose boatloads of money on the event (and maybe even made a few bucks that can be re-invested into the movement), I would say that it is closely enough related to warrant continuing it as an NRA-run event. Not to mention, it’s actually very similar to the exhibit hall of the NRA Annual Meeting, save for the addition of the RVs, boats, and fishing lures. If you consider this too far out of their core mission, then you’d have to support scrapping a significant part of the exhibit hall for the convention, too. That’s usually got 1-2 full rows of outfitters, plus some additional car displays, food-related vendors, and a few other not-directly gun-related categories.

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