HARRISBURG -- The National Rifle Association will be the new producer of the annual outdoor show at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. The announcement came at a news conference in Dauphin County.
"This is the best place in the country for such a show. It's got a history and we are going to go in there and let people know we would like the opportunity to bring it back and make it what it could be," NRA President David Keene said.
For years, the event was called the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show. It was cancelled this year after many vendors pulled out because the organizers banned the sale of assault rifles. The NRA plans to re-name the event the Great American Outdoor Show.
NRA President David Keene says all legal firearms, including assault rifles, will be on display at next year's show.
"When your viewers think of the NRA they think of us in our advocacy role. That's incredibly important to us and our members, but that's about 10% of what we do. This falls into the other 90%," Keene said.
The NRA expects more than 1,000 vendors to fill the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. Officials say prices for the vendors could go down because of having to cancel the show this year.
"It's going to have to be some advantageous money exchanged for us to come again," former vendor Chad Hall said.
"As long as they don't make it too political. I know they are a political organization, as long as they don't get too political about it. Let the sportsmen run it. The sportsmen need to be more in charge," Steve Allen said.
"I think it's okay. Have a gun show and sell guns to people who are hopefully capable of taking care of them," Kathryn Leitzel said.
The Great American Outdoor Show is scheduled for February 1st through 9th of next year at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.