Early Bird Sports Expo Business Booming

BLOOMSBURG — Business is booming in Bloomsburg as a popular sports show in the State Capitol was called off.

Betty Broadt organizes the Early Bird Sports Expo in Columbia County and said the last 24 hours have been hectic.

“My phone has been ringing constantly, it`s like every five minutes, someone`s either trying to get into our show to see if they can get in or just people from clear up into buffalo trying to come down to see if they can either get their hands on a gun or some ammunition, stuff like that,” said Broadt.

Banning the sale of high-capacity magazines and semi automatic rifles in Harrisburg is what began a boycott of the eastern sports and outdoor show in the first place. It drove many customers to Bloomsburg.

“There already are more people here this year than last, it`s significant, you can see it,” said Ryan Eardon of Katahdin’s Shadow Outfitters.

“Well , it`s having a positive effect on my business, as this whole ordeal has, unfortunately it`s a shame for Harrisburg that that`s the outcome of their show,” said Renee Cooke, Maple Ridge Sports Center Owner.

The only place you can find a semi-automatic rifle at the expo is at the Maple Ridge Sports Center booth. You can`t walk away with one because the demand is so high, but you can put your name on a waiting list.

“Everybody who was never in the market for an assault weapon now wants one just because you know, they`re afraid they won`t be able to have one,” said Cooke.

Customers shopping in Bloomsburg said they support the dozens of vendors who boycotted the show in Harrisburg, realizing why it’s so important.

“It`s principal, we’re basically using our First Amendment right to protect our Second Amendment right. That`s what it boils down to,” said Eardon.

“Well it`s disappointing, to me that was the best show out of them all. It had so much in there, so much to see for both fishing and hunting,” said Al Kirk of Philadelphia.

The Early Bird Sports Expo at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds runs through Sunday.

There’s no word on if, or when the show in the State Capitol will be rescheduled.

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