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January 24, 2013

More than 200 vendors pull out of gun show in protest

CUMBERLAND, Md. —  

So far more than 200 exhibitors have pulled out of the popular Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show — set to open Feb. 2 in Harrisburg, Pa. — because modern or military-style sporting rifles will not be shown or sold.

In a statement, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation called the decision “detrimental to the Second Amendment and our right as Americans to bear arms” and pointed out that the firearms being eliminated are legal.

Over the years, the show has been a popular winter destination for hunters, fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts.

“I’ve been there the past five years, but there’s no sense going if a lot of vendors are leaving,” said Jerry Zembower, president of the Allegany-Garrett Sportsmen’s Association. “I really wouldn’t be going to see the banned firearms anyway.”

The show’s organizer, Reed Exhibitions, said: “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 Second 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 . . . . “

Congress is preparing to debate new gun-control legislation, prepared, in part, due to the deadly shooting of students and school officials in Newtown, Conn., that took 26 lives.

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Details for this story were provided by the Cumberland (Md.) Times-News.

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