The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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January 25, 2014

Gun show reloads for 2014

’13 event canceled after Sandy Hook outcry

HARRISBURG — Pistol-packing Willie Grayson, of Sunbury, is among those elated at the return of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, which begins Feb. 1 under a new name and a new sponsor, but offering similar vendors and exhibits.

Gun-control advocates considered the cancellation of the 2013 show as a victory after more than 200 vendors withdrew from the event after assault-gun manufacturers were banned from the exhibition floor in the wake of mass shootings that included Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012.

The annual event at the state Farm Show Complex generates about $75 million in the Harrisburg area, according to the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce.

“I think it’s funny when liberals are upset at all of the money lost in the Harrisburg area because the boycott got the show shut down,” Grayson said Friday as he left Young’s Sporting Goods, in Northumberland, where he purchased a pistol.

“But boycotts called by gun-control groups would have caused the show to close. That would have been viewed as a huge win. You can’t have it both ways. And yes, I’ll be going there.”

Reborn and revitalized, the Great American Outdoors Show will be sponsored by the National Rifle Association and include manufacturers such as Smith & Wesson, Colt, Remington and Beretta. Also featured at the show will be traditional hunting, fishing, archery, camping and boating equipment.

Guns, including assault-style rifles, will be sold at the show, although deliveries will be carried out by licensed gun dealers. A show visitor who purchases a firearm must have it shipped for pickup to a federal firearms licensee site.

Though the new show will be operated by the NRA, it is not restricted to that organization’s members, nor will there be controversy surrounding AR-15s.

Vendors, in fact, will be allowed to display firearms — including AR-15s and other guns that Reed Exhibitions, the sponsor preceding the 2013 show, would have banned.

 

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