The annual Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg is banning assault weapons this year.
Reed Exhibitions puts on the annual event and made the decision not to include tactical rifles less than a month before the show, much to the chagrin of those who plan to attend.
“I think a man ought to be able to have what he wants. If he want an assault rifle for some reason, to hunt with or just target shoot or whatever, I think he should have it without a whole lot of hassle,” said Dennis Hackler, a gun owner.
Hackler said heading to the show every year is a tradition, but the ban may change that.
“I think it’s going to hurt the show, actually. I’ve owned guns all my life since I’ve been 12 years old and I’ve really enjoyed myself. And I’m sure there’s millions of hunters that would feel the same way,” he said.
Others feel it’s all part of a bigger issue facing the country.
“By the Second Amendment, the guns are there for one thing: a tyrannical government. It’s the people, not the guns,” said gun owner Tim Wade.
Reed Exhibitions posted a statement on their website regarding the decision that reads in part: “We strongly support the Second Amendment. However, this year we have made the decision not to include certain products that in the current climate may attract negative attention…and possibly disrupt the broader positive experience of our guests.”
The show will be February 2-10 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg.