PITTSTON — Another twist in the debate over guns in Pennsylvania.
It began back in February when the popular Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg was cancelled.
Then last week, the NRA stepped in and said it would sponsor a new outdoors show for next year.
However, the NRA then said its Great American Outdoor Show will not allow the sale of any guns at all.
It was a busy Friday night at Advanced Arms gun shop in Pittstson.
Gun owners and sellers said with the controversial climate over gun control, many people are buying more guns now than ever out of fear the government will put more restrictions on sales.
“Right now the way the political scene is going that it`s really, really tough on the law-abiding citizens, the ones that aren`t planning on using guns for negative purposes,” said Jim Wisnewski of Pittston.
Next February at the gun show in Harrisburg, people will no longer be able to purchase firearms.
The NRA said last week it would host the Great American Outdoor Show to replace the now-defunct Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show.
That show was cancelled this year after gun vendors threatened to boycott it when the promoter would not allow certain rifles to be displayed.
At the NRA`s show, any firearm can be displayed, but no guns will be allowed to be sold.
Employees said that may cause vendors to pull out again.
“If they planned on displaying and selling, obviously it`s not going to be worthwhile to go, it`s going to impact their business, especially if gun shows are their primary source of revenue,” said Chris Scoda, an employee at Advanced Arms.
In a response to a question from the Patriot News of Harrisburg, the NRA said its show will “…give attendees a chance to see the full line of products from many of the leading firearm manufacturers in the country, then go to their local gun shop or gun show to make their purchase.”
“That show was traditionally an exhibition show, so if they`re following the roots of that show, or the traditions of that show, chances are that just having the displays, educating people on the new products, if just goes along with the format,” said Scoda.
The Great American Outdoor Show is scheduled to run February 1 through February 9 next year at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.