BREAKING: Reed Exhibitions Cancels 2013 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) just sent us an email blast: Reed Exhibitions has cancelled the 2013 Eastern Mountain and Sports Outdoor Show. (Official announcement from their website after the jump.) The decision comes after dozens of exhibitors pulled out, protesting Reed’s decision to ban “modern sporting rifles” and “high capacity magazines” from the exhibition hall floor. What’s more, the NSSF’s press release (also after the jump) intimates that the gun industry lobby group is looking to bail on the British-born exhibition organizer for the next SHOT Show. Our sources tell us that the NSSF’s lawyers are busy “weighing their options” (i.e. looking for a way out of their contract). Bottom line: don’t mess with The People of the Gun.

Reed Exhibitions’ Statement

Reed Exhibitions has decided to postpone, for now, the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show given the controversy surrounding its decision to limit the sale or display of modern sporting rifles (also called ARs) at the event. The show was scheduled to take place February 2-10 in Harrisburg, PA.

“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, Reed Exhibitions President for the Americas. “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.”

NSSF press release:

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.

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

88 Responses to BREAKING: Reed Exhibitions Cancels 2013 Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show

  1. avatarSilver says:

    That’s what you call winning. May the enablers of tyranny always find resistance such as this.

    • avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

      I agree. However, the real loser may be the city of Harrisburg, PA that will be missing out on the convention revenue. For that Reed needs to suffer with further loss of business. Bye, bye Shot Show…

      • avatarWiebelhaus says:

        NSSF will find someone else to manage SHOT, no doubt, look at how successful it was this year alone.

      • avatarDon says:

        Someone else will step up and do the Sportsman’s show in PA. This cancellation is solely a result of Reed’s actions and has nothing to do with the market for such a show in Pa. The market for the show and the incentive for doing the show is still completely intact, and probably greatly strengthened. All it does is breaks Reed’s monopoly.

      • avatarRandy [Bullitt.44] says:

        Looks like the witch Tompson isn’t going to be able to balance her Harrisburg budget after all. Maybe she can borrow some cash from China like Obama does. I guess I will same about 90 miles worth of gas from my non round trip. I feel for all the exibitors if they lost their hotel deposits and so forth.

    • avatarSD3 says:

      C’mon, man! Give us phone numbers! Email adressess!

      • avatarScott says:

        Google is your friend my man. Heck, there is even a link to the announcement page in the story above which has a clear link to Reed’s website. It took longer to type this comment than to find:

        Reed Exhibitions USA
        383 Main Avenue
        Norwalk CT 06851
        United States
        Tel: +1 203 840 4800
        Fax: +1 203 840 5805
        Email: inquiry@reedexpo.com
        Website: http://www.reedexpo.com

        • avatarRJOGuillory says:

          ….no matter the degree of their relative success…I am always amazed that so many “successful” business owners do not understand that economics is about emotion….every individual decision that a person makes…especially about their needs, wants and desires, …that is always a decision based in emotion….our “wants and desires” illustrate who we are and portray some measurement of “fulfillment” …in this life…! So when business people mess with the basic, core emotions of their customers…it always amazes me…that they think their customers will not notice….? It is like spending 20 bucks at McDonalds, getting home and finding the fries cold…so you take the whole order back…and the manager simply replaces the fries, without replacing the entire order and doing some repair work to your emotional base …using empathy to disarm the anger…letting you know that we “understand”…? These are all basic business concepts with regard to customer service … ..how Reed’s could be so dense towards the emotional base of their guests is beyond me…?

          Regards,

          RJ O’Guillory
          Author-
          Webster Groves-The Life of an Insane Family

    • avatarLevi B says:

      My brother and his father-in-law have gone to that show for the last several years, but had already decided to not go this year before the cancellation, due to them deciding black guns are too scary. I imagine they weren’t the only ones, by a long shot.

    • avatarDavid says:

      Everyone please be aware that this feeble attempt of Reed to associate the 2nd amendment with only hunting and Sport shooting is incorrect. The 2nd amendment is a right not to be infringed. It’s not an extremist view to own guns, it’s what our founding fathers intended. Look down the road generations when gun legislation is proposed. That is what the gun-grabbers are doing, taking a little here and there, then before we realize it, the rights have been diminished. Stand strong!!

  2. avatarBuckeyecopperhead says:

    Good! Serves them right!

  3. avatarArkansas hick says:

    Good to see my fellow hunters making a stand that was heard loud and clear. Good for them.

  4. avatar@IamNewge says:

    Good. This is the result of turning on your own! We can only hope this costs Reed a fortune.

    • avatarDavid W. says:

      All they are missing is the 14 bucks per person who showed up. Since they did the scary black rifle ban after companies and businesses could pull out with a refund.

      I hope NSSF doesn’t use them again for SHOT show, I think it would be best if they got like actual TV ads and stuff across the country on like gun tv shows on cable and such. There are a few new ones that have come out like Lords of War (basically the gun expert from Pawn Stars and they buy antique military stuff) and something on Animal Planet revolving around a gun store.

      • avatarHuman Being says:

        They may already have some people’s money, but they also have contracts with the exhibit space, hotel room set-asides, plus the advertising budget. It may not ruin them, but I’d be very surprised if they weren’t taking at least some loss on this.

      • avatarStuart says:

        retroactively and unilaterally changing a contract is usually called “breach of contract”. I think Reed are in for a world of hurt, legally.

      • avatarGeorge Miller says:

        Exhibitors will be VERY reluctant to sign up with them again, especially if Harris failed to refund their money. They changed the rules AFTER the contract was made, to be grovelling politically correct patsies. Dirty pool. They’re toast in this country.

  5. avatarOrion says:

    You know the antis will see and spin this as a win…they got a gun show cancelled, right?

    Lets see if anyone tries to take credit.

    • avatarJTPhilly says:

      I didn’t think about this possibility.

    • avatarpk in AZ says:

      Agree…

      Let’s see what happens if/when the lame stream media picks this up..

      • avatarWiregrass says:

        I see this as a gift from Reed Exhibitions. They gave us a visible opportunity to demonstrate to visibly demonstrate our power in opposition to those who want to use the Sandy Hook tragedy to nullify our right to keep and bear arms. Now that the show has been postponed, I assure you the congresscritters, particularly those up for re-election in 2014 are now paying attention.

  6. avatarBlinkyPete says:

    Good!

  7. avatarjmk says:

    most excellent.

  8. avatarBobby says:

    Gun owners will be united if we stand together, and fall if we are divided. Hunters, target shooters and self-defense folks all the same.

  9. avatarMatt in FL says:

    I’m actually really surprised. Good for the NSSF.

    I’m also a little sad for the myriad companies that historically get a large influx of cash from their participation in this show. But if Reed is pulling out, that leaves a hole in the market. Other exhibition companies who have not attempted to do shows like this because the vendors were all focused on ESS and wouldn’t have time/money for another trade show will now have an opportunity to fill that niche. Hopefully another, more 2A friendly exhibition company will step up to do it right.

  10. avatarPowers says:

    They say “this celebratory event has become overshadowed by a decision that directly affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits ..” Well, if it was such a small percentage, why worry about those small numbers of “MSR” distributors distracting from the event?

    • avatarpk in AZ says:

      Hey, they need to “spin” this in any way that they can!

    • avatarLeo Atrox says:

      What strikes me is the refusal to recognize the “MSR’s” use as a legitimate hunting tool. They’re saying that the decision not to allow AR’s “was made in order to preserve the event’s historical focus on the hunting and fishing traditions enjoyed by American families,” but the decision is far from perserving that focus. Instead, it says to their customers (producers, retailers, and consumers) that they believe that it isn’t okay to go out and hunt with these rifles and, by extension, hunting itself isn’t okay. (Afterall, there is no difference between hitting a deer with one shot from an AR versus one shot from a bolt-action rifle.) And even if you don’t buy into that rationale, surely you can understand that the decision is at least a one-fingered wave to any person that feels that way, which is an ever-growing portion of the hunters in this country.

      Most hunters aren’t folks born at the turn of the 20th century who served in the military with their Springfield rifles anymore, but folks born in the mid-to-late 20′th century who served in the military with M14′s and M16′s (and, in some cases, other semi-automatic rifles). We’re accustomed and comfortable with these rifles. They are the new normal.

      Full disclosure: I’m not a hunter and I don’t have any desire to kill for sport; but I value our national traditions and the contributions to environmental conservation that hunters have brought. I am a Marine Corps veteran. The AR is my rifle of choice; and, if I did hunt medium game, it would be with my AR-10 variant.

      • avatarTex74 says:

        You’re exactly right. My friend went deer hunting this year with a supressed AR 10. He was thrilled with the results and I was extremely jealous.

      • avataradm.fookbar says:

        just a question for the masses: In PA (and I’m sure many other places) you cannot hunt with a semi-automatic rifle. Is someone producing a an AR upper that utilizes a bolt action?

        If not, may I make the suggestion to you, dear manufacturers, that there’s a market to be had…

        • avatarDJ says:

          Actually, there are very few states and localities that ban hunting with semi-autos; PA is the only one I can think of off the top of my head. A friend of mine in the military (from PA) was also somewhat amazed that this was not a more universal restriction, but I and many others representing a wide swath of the USA finally convinced him that it was, in fact, rather rare.

          As for the bolt-action upper; I believe I remember at least a couple, primarily marketed for long-distance target shooting in larger calibers. During the last AWB, one company offered a slide-action AR upper, with the action slide wrapping around the handguard area. Personally, I thought the idea was pretty slick, but the execution sucked (it was a rattle-trap). Properly-done, something like this would sell well, I think.

        • avatarM Sparkman says:

          Actually, some areas of Michigan, I believe Ohio, Wisconsin, and Indiana, possibly others, have areas restricted to shotgun only hunting. These areas are just too heavily populated to allow safe hunting with a rifle. Any place that has rural forested areas in close proximity to small cities and towns would most likely have such restrictions.

        • avatarCJ Tressler says:

          It is currently illegal to hunt deer with any form of semi-automatic firearm. You can hunt turkeys with a semi-auto shotgun, but you can’t use that same gun to hunt deer. One of my complaints as a PA hunter.

        • avatarDJ says:

          M Sparkman, not sure how/why you moved us from discussing semi-auto restrictions (a type of firearm operating system that might refer to a shotgun, rifle, or pistol) to shotgun-only restrictions (actually an ammo-based restriction, usually used to minimize the downrange danger zone of projectiles that might miss or fully penetrate the intended target).

          As you said, shotgun-only restricted areas are quite common; I grew up in one of the areas you listed. But you could still hunt with a semi-auto shotgun in the zones we hunted. Not what I was talking about at all.

      • avatarBrian S says:

        Spin, spin, spin. There’s only so much teflon on the planet. Sooner or later Reed and others like them are going to have to accept the fact that MSR’s are not just a fad spun off from a video games. I hunt with my Remington R-15 30 RAR. It’s a great rifle!

        It’s too early to determine the full value of this “victory”. Both sides can voice their opinions over who won what and who loast what. At the end of the day, if 2A is still intact, then this skirmish belongs to us. This isn’t even a battle yet folks, let alone the full-blown war we’re going to see. I pray that the real issues are raised and dealt with.

    • avatarBrian S says:

      exactly, when i read it it said (after translation)…

      “shame on you for owning a MSR, they are unfit for families. True firearms enthusiasts dress like Elmer Fudd and have to move their off hand as well as their trigger finger after each shot. We’ve taken our ball and gone home”

      nice attempt to try using long winded language to divide people tho

    • avatarRandy [Bullitt.44] says:

      Yea, but about 35% are food venders and cell phone venders.

  11. avatarHuman Being says:

    Not a mea culpa in sight in that statement. And it was the emotional instability of savage hicks that kept poor innocent families from seeing 1000s of exhibits? Gee, I thought it was that 1-in-5 of your actual exhibitors had already told you to go jump in a lake, with more doing so every day as the date approached, that brought you to this pass.

  12. avatarBobby says:

    Someone who respects our rights should fill the void.

    • avatarSoccerchainsaw says:

      Anybody in this forum want band together to form a startup company to fill the void? Or is this just crazy talk…

    • avatarensitu says:

      I hope that this country has enough Capitalists left that a 2A supporting Co. will be formed that Will take all of Reed’s former clients awaw from the UK POS

  13. avatarjwm says:

    Gun owners are passionate about our rights, as the pols are going to find out in 2014.

  14. avatarAlphaGeek says:

    Apparently Reed Exhibitions subscribes to the Eric Cartman school of crisis management: “Screw you guys, I’m going home!”

  15. avatartdiinva says:

    I think this should put to bed the fear that hunters don’t care or understand the Second Amendment. They know that they are next on the list. Even Bow hunters backed gun rights. The community is united. -

    • avatarBH206L3 says:

      Yep you have that right, You think if they just take the AR’s they will leave us alone, we are not that stupid. 40 years ago it was Saturday Night Specials. The want all of our guns and our liberties too, and hunting and fishing too.

    • avatarrosignol says:

      Looks like I’m going to have to start using ‘Fudd’ as a term of endearment….

      • avatarAlphaGeek says:

        Give me another 100 data points on that spread out over the next year, and I’ll be willing to believe. The Fudds have a lot of trust to rebuild with the rest of their 2A-exercising community.

  16. avatarRKflorida says:

    This is excellent for another reason, the small exhibitors who could little afford to lose their deposit, but sacrificed for the sake of unity, will be refunded their money since the show is cancelled.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      Except it’s not cancelled, it’s postponed. My guess is they don’t get their money back until it’s actually cancelled.

    • avatarAharon says:

      People will lose money on paid-for plane tickets and deposits made on lodging, etc. Temp agency workers to electricians will now have their work arrangements lost for that period. A lot of companies and people put in time and effort getting things organized for the event. Reed has shafted the industry and many individuals. Boycott Reed.

    • avatarscoobs says:

      But think of the cost of shipping, plane tickets, preperations not to mention all the revenue generated and counted on for the YEAR at that one show, which now, they aren’t going to be able to go to… Not that I disagree with the decision of the vendors pulling out, forcing the cancellation…I just think that the original decision to ban these guns was a political one and unfortunately, requires this type of fallout. Hopefully, these vendors will recover their losses in other ways.

  17. avatarmountocean says:

    If all they cared about was the historical focus they should have had the show in a museum. Not a confrence center where thousands of exhibitors showcase thier latest and greatest gadgets.

  18. avatarAharon says:

    The audacity of Reed goes on and on like America’s president. Reeds’ pr statement reeks of European condescending arrogance. The NSSF should have been more politically sensitive from the start (regardless of recent political events) and to have hired a pro-2A American owned and based event management firm.

  19. avatarGW spinning in his grave says:

    Progressive insurance was behind the push. Do not use them.

  20. avatarnikonmikon says:

    “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”

    If modern sporting rifles were such a small percentage of the exhibitions and mostly inconsequential why were they banned?

    lol, making decisions based on emotion.

  21. avatarTony White says:

    HuntWithTony I can’t believe the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show timing of this events cancellation. Look at all the air travel tickets, booth space, paid by outfitters that will be lost, and thousands of dollars lost on unsold hunting trips. I know of one outfitter that sells each year over $150k in hunting trips at this show

  22. avatarCasey T says:

    While this great, I’m sickened that Reed can’t own their mistakes. How hard would it be to say “we were wrong and we are sorry”.

  23. avatarDale says:

    Making the point that RKBA is all of us together and nobody gets thrown under the bus… GOOD!

    But remember, that’s one of our own countries that we nuked to make this point. Hopefully this won’t dissuade other companies from doing outdoors shows.

    • avatarRalph says:

      “We” didn’t nuke anything. Reed nuked itself.

    • avatarGeorge Miller says:

      Other shows will be fine, IF they FULLY support the Second Amendment and the Constitution. The left can do their pressure tactics and boycotts— but so can we.

      Which customers do the sporting/gun industry people think are more valuable to their events? Are they #$^@! stupid?

  24. avatarRalph says:

    The British are leaving! The British are leaving! There’s a great irony to the fact that the battle of Lexington and Concord was precipitated by the Brits trying to take away the Americans’ guns, and the battle of Harrisburg was fought for the same exact reason.

    This was an important battle because Smith & Wesson, Ruger, Mossberg, Cabelas and a whole list of manufacturers and retailers finally — finally — manned up and grew a pair. Let’s hope that they don’t turn toes up in the weeks and months to come.

  25. avatarJoke & Dagger says:

    WOW

  26. avatarMatt in FL says:

    The show cancellation just hit the front page of Drudge, with the headline “NRA boycott kills nation’s largest outdoors show…” and a link to this story.

  27. avatarICDEDTURKES says:

    Just to be clear this was not the work of the NSSF or NRA.. This was a grassroots movement.. The largest portion of the credit should go to the two men that created the Boycott Eastern Sport show Facebook page, which quickly gathered 18000 likes in no time. Once the page was created to create awareness, 1000s of people flooded the facebook pages of vendors, “special guests” as well as news outlets to spread the word.. Many of the small vendors with essentially EVERYTHING to LOSE were some of the first to pull out from the show standing for their 2nd amendment right over there wallet..

    And if this is spam feel free to delete, but at the My North East Outdoors Webpage they are having a virtual show to help recoup some of the profits that these patriotic small vendors lost and depend on.. Please look at this and the comprehensive list of vendors whom pulled before this news and support those that chose to support our 2nd amendment.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      Yeah, I was a little surprised with them giving credit to the NRA, except that for people who don’t know, the NRA is boogeyman to blame everything on.

      • avatarICDEDTURKES says:

        The NRA was late to pull from the show.. The hunting portion of the show was already doomed, they were probably like the 200th entity to pull..All the “celebrity hunters” had already pulled and many of them surprisingly pulled well before there sponsors. Nothing against the NRA but this was not there doing..

        I was fascinated with how everyone in the industry pulled together and was basically glued to the computer watching this unfold over the past couple a days..

  28. avatarGeorge Miller says:

    We will NOT support events and organizations which do not FULLY support the Second Amendment and the U.S. Constitution. No negotiation, no ifs ands or buts. Period. Stop. Out.

  29. avatarLance says:

    Good shows grassroots gun people can win.

  30. My favorite part of their statement was:

    “It is unfortunate that…this celebratory event has become overshadowed by a decision that directly affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits”

    Basically they’re saying; it only affected a “small percentage”, you know, those evil AR manufacturers so why are the rest of you people so upset?

    They just don’t get it. It’s like they have NO idea who their customer base is.

  31. avatarMad Punter says:

    This is what happens when a gun show is managed by a company headquartered in the UK — the land of Piers Morgan.

  32. avatarJamie says:

    You all seem so excited that the show was cancelled, but the people losing out bc of this isn’t just Reed.. we were exhibitors that have done the show for years and our family is now losing that major income. We didn’t pull out on our own either!

    • avatarRon Jones says:

      Best you didn’t get your name on a list of people that made it to this show. You might have lost more business by going than not. I for one would have looked at a list of people that went anyway and been hesitant to buy from you.

    • avatarMatt in FL says:

      I feel for you and your family, but this had to happen. I truly do hope that another exhibition company steps up, and soon, to fill the gap left by Reed. Can you tell us whether your exhibition monies have been refunded, or is Reed still holding them due to the show being “postponed” instead of cancelled?

  33. avatarJamie says:

    You all seem so excited that the show was cancelled, but the people losing out bc of this isn’t just Reed. we were exhibitors that have done the show for years and our family is now losing that major income. We didn’t pull out on our own either!

    • avatarRandy Drescher says:

      Sorry to hear that Jamie, maybe someone else will step up to the plate. I don’t know what you are selling, maybe you could put some of it on the internet, sales of gun stuff is going great right now, Randy

  34. avatarRandy Drescher says:

    Way to try to turn the hunters against us reed, thats one out of the obama playbook. Maybe piers migraine will take up the empty spaces for you, Randy

  35. avatarAmericanIcon says:

    Not being privy to Reed’s decision making process, I have no idea how much of the decision was politically motivated, nor how much was willful and malicious ignorance of their ‘audience’. I’m fairly certain that before the first exhibitors pulled out of the show, they expressed their concerns to Reed management, who turned a deaf ear. Unfortunately, ‘actions have consequences’: Their intransigence has affected everyone who had planned to exhibit, whether or not their business had any connection to ‘modern sporting rifles’ or not, or even whether they agreed with the decision.

    I make no claim to be a marketing guru, but in all the years I spent in retail the first rule I was taught to observe is LISTEN TO YOUR CUSTOMERS. Guess that means I’m at least smarter than Reed Exhibitions.

  36. avatarRon Jones says:

    How about this? We shot ourselves in the foot and now we cant make enough money to cover the expenses after everyone bailed out. Good. Maybe you will see that people that follow the laws and pay taxes are tired of a holes that shouldn’t even have guns wrecking it for all of us by committing crimes.

  37. avatarShane says:

    I think it’s funny they say dozens when it is well over 400.

  38. Matt, you may be right to a point, are you also counting all the entertainers, groups & singlels, plus all the clebrities, etc. that pulled out? Don’t know the exact number now, but I think it’s over 400 = 40%, now thats big on an event like this WAS to be. I had planned to go, but I think I’ll be trying to attend the better place, http//mynortheastoutdoors.com

  39. avatarJim "Ahrten" Brickson says:

    This is a great diversion and not a “WIN” only a delay. Reed calling in on “emotionally charged atmosphere’ and “celebratory event” being overshadowed by a small group of people. Reed like the Free American Man? Folks here is the dodge… Next year Reed is already working on marketing on next years program and they won’t look like morons as they do this year. Think back a few years ago when Target co. stopped supporting the Salvation Army at Christmas. I know it’s not the same thing however the community outrage was awful. The perception from next years show… Wait and see! It’s will be one of those “Just Saying” moments.

  40. avatarRME KRNL says:

    The People have spoken. Good for us for boycotting this gun show and its sponsors. People need to take care which side of the current gun ban debate they take a stand on. Many elected official could also find themselves “boycotted” come election time.

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