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Culture & Politics

Cabela’s to Boycott Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show

by Robert W. Hunnicutt   |  January 22nd, 2013 19

Everyone in the Northeast has heard of the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show, often called the “Harrisburg show” for its location in the Pennsylvania capital.

A weeklong orgy of hunting, fishing and general outdoor exhibits, it draws as many as 100,000 visitors and makes or breaks the year for many outfitters.

It is run by Reed Expositions, a British firm that also manages the SHOT Show. Reed stepped on land mine last week by announcing that black rifles would not be allowed at the Harrisburg event.

“The Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show is a unique celebration of the authentic hunting and fishing traditions that are cherished by millions of Americans and their families. We are proud to celebrate these pastimes by featuring 1,200 exhibitors offering a diverse range of products from outfitters to fishing boats and RVs, from archery to art and from clothes to cabins.

As a hunting-focused event, we welcome exhibitors who wish to showcase products and firearms that serve the traditional needs of the sport. Clearly, we strongly support the 2nd Amendment. However, this year we have made the decision not to include certain products that in the current climate may attract negative attention that would distract from the strong focus on hunting and fishing at this family-oriented event and possibly disrupt the broader positive experience of our guests.

ESS is proud to participate in the preservation and promotion of the rich hunting and fishing tradition passed from generation to generation by American families.”

That was an extremely bad idea, as more than 60 vendors, led by Cabela’s, which had a huge presence at the show, have dropped out. Cabela’s commented as follows:
“Due to recent changes made by Reed Exhibitions regarding the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, Cabela’s will no longer sponsor this year’s event,” the outdoors retailer posted on its Facebook page. “After careful consideration regarding Cabela’s business practices, and the feelings of our customers, Cabela’s will, unfortunately, not have a presence at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show.”

There has been periodic naysaying about Reed Exhibitions’ stewardship of the SHOT Show over the years, and this incident will just pour gas on the fire. It will be hard for the National Shooting Sports Foundation to justify keeping Reed as the manager for the SHOT Show in light of this decision, unless there is a sudden reversal.

One of our movement’s great strengths is that we stick together. In Britain, for example, gun owners were represented by several organizations that were picked off one by one. The pistol shooters didn’t support the black gun shooters, and were in turn not supported by the shotgunners. That made it easy for the government to isolate each group in turn.

Here, an assault on one is an attack on all, a fact whose importance Reed Exhibitions is about to discover.

  • RRT223

    Cabela's is a great company and well deserves our support. They have taken a stand supporting our freedoms, now let's support them. As if we needed an excuse to order more products from Cabela's . Great company, Great products!!

    • earlsfishing

      I was A Bass Pro Shop customer BUT they support the Ban so the hell with them I am now A Cabela's customer

  • RT from Ohio

    Is there a list of the other 60 vendors who have also chosen to withdrawl?

  • Heretic

    Cabela's rules. I'm giong to have to order something (anything) from them this weekend.

  • Zuran

    Out with the Redcoats. 240 years later, they still don`t get it.

  • Gary

    If we don't stick together they win, remember separate and isolate there objective we must unite to win or we all lose,

  • Larry

    Way to go Cabelas…..Screw the Limey imbeciles

  • D.G

    My next gun will definitely be bought at Cabelas!!

  • bigdon

    I have just become a Cabela customer! Thank God for Cabela's and the others that stand up and confront those trying to take away our rights! I will be buying a gun at Cabela's too in the near future!

  • Ninedogs

    I am not surprised Reed Expositions banned black rifles, if you look at their web page, it is sponsored by Progressive Insurance, one of the most liberal, anti-gun companies in the US. The name Progressive is a good indicator of their political ideology.

  • Paul Vance

    I support your decision 100%.

  • Starky

    Would be nice to know what other business interests Reed Expositions has to be sure not to support any of them.

  • Starky

    Hay Reed Expositions a couple hundred years ago we sent you Brits for a ride back across the pond. Looks like it is time for another boat ride. And this time stay the hell over there.

  • Guest

    In 1994, most sat back and relaxed when the Clinton Ban passed. In fact, most predicted "it will never pass the house". Fast forward to today and I see the same scenario building as most are sitting back again. This new proposal will wipe out gun rights as we know them. Please take the 20 minutes needed to write your politicians and to thank companies that are supporting the 2cd Amendment.



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