Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show postponed after vendors pull out over gun ban

After a week of protests following a decision to ban assault weapons, Reed Exhibitions has decided to postpone the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show.

Reed has not said if it will reschedule the show, which was originally set to open Feb. 2 at the Farm Show Complex. Reed has not answered repeated requests for comment this week.

In a statement on its website, Reed said:

“It has become very clear to us after speaking with our customers that the event could not be held because the atmosphere of this year’s show would not be conducive to an event that is designed to provide family enjoyment.

“It is unfortunate that in the current emotionally charged atmosphere this celebratory event has become overshadowed by a decision that directly affected a small percentage of more than 1,000 exhibits showcasing products and services for those interested in hunting and fishing.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms trade association based in Newtown, Conn., has already issued a statement on the postponement:

“In the days following Reed Exhibitions’ announcement that modern sporting rifles would be prohibited from the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, the leadership of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has been in intense, frank discussions with Reed Exhibitions management in an effort to reverse this unacceptable decision. These discussions reached an impasse.

“NSSF is in no way affiliated with, nor does it participate in or exhibit at this show in any way. “

The foundation owns SHOT Show, an annual firearm show that Reed managed earlier this month in Las Vegas. Because of its policy at the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show, the NSSF said it is “considering all options regarding the management of future SHOT Shows.”