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Article published January 24, 2013
Boycott forces postponement of outdoor show
HARRISBURG — A large outdoors show was postponed indefinitely Thursday after organizers’ ban on assault weapons triggered a backlash and a growing vendor boycott. Reed Exhibitions posted a notice on the website of the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show that said an “emotionally charged atmosphere” had been created that would make it impossible to hold an event “designed to provide family enjoyment.” The nine-day show had been scheduled to start Feb. 2 at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg. Reed’s statement said the show was being postponed “for now” but did not elaborate, and a Reed spokeswoman declined an interview request or to provide other details. An e-mail sent Thursday to ticket-buyers promised refunds and said the process will be posted on its website. Reed had decided to ban the sale and display of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The move angered a significant portion of the show’s customer base, and a growing number of vendors had announced they were pulling out of the show. Online listings showed more than 200 sellers had decided against participation, a number Reed did not confirm.