HARRISBURG — Organizers of a huge outdoor sporting goods show in Harrisburg may have left their parting shot by calling off the show.
It’s postponed after vendors planned to boycott the event in protest of assault weapons being banned at the show.
This all started with the ban on assault weapons and controversial high capacity magazines at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg.
Then, one by one, vendors that were signed up for that popular event started backing out, part of a boycott that’s grown big enough to shut down the show.
Hundreds of vendors and thousands of people take part in the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg each year.
Reed Exhibitions announced that due to controversy surrounding its decision to ban assault rifles at the show, the show’s off, postponed indefinitely.
It’s because more than 300 vendors have decided to boycott the annual outdoor show, unhappy with the organizers’ decision to prohibit sales of assault rifles and magazines that hold lots of ammunition.
“I absolutely back them, I congratulate them and I say God bless them. They took the right stand,” said Frank Tripoli.
Tripoli owns Tripoli’s Triggers in Williamsport.
Tripoli, a firm supporter of second amendment rights, believes semi-automatic rifles are getting a bad name.
“There’s nothing wrong with assault rifles. First of all they’re not assault rifles, they’re sporting firearms,” said Tripoli.
Tim Kulp of Muncy was in the market for a gun of some kind and said that’s why lots of people go to outdoor shows like the one in Harrisburg.
“They go there for the opportunity to buy those weapons,” said Kulp.
“That’s a shocker, the Sports and Outdoor Show has always been one of the greatest events,” added Andrew Wickard of Williamsport who has attended the show numerous times on the past.
Wickard agrees with vendors’ boycott, unhappy with the assault weapons ban. But still, he’ll miss the rest of what the show has to offer.
“People there will talk to you like they’ve been friend for whole life. To see it’s gone is disappointing.”
The boycott of the outdoor show in Harrisburg got a lot of traction on the Internet.
A Facebook page has helped spread the word and attracted more and more vendors to join its cause.
The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show was scheduled to run February 2 – 10 in Harrisburg.
There is no word on when, or if, it will be rescheduled.