Despite Petronis’ concessions, and possibly due to the effectiveness of the protests, a movement to ban ‘assault weapons’ from all of the events on the sportshow circuit quickly gained momentum.
In the blink of an eye, a trickle of hope for putting an end to gun violence began flowing out of a tiny gun show in sleepy, little Saratoga Springs. Oddly, as news of the ban spread rapidly upstream against the current, the momentum eventually had a huge impact on one of the largest sport shows in the country.
Less that two weeks after the gun show concessions in Saratoga , Reed Productions, the British-owned promoters of the giant Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show (ESOS), announced their decision to ban assault weapons from all of their upcoming events. ESOS is one of the largest consumer sport shows in the country, with over 400 exhibitors, and more than 200,000 visitors. The event provides an estimated economic impact of nearly $44 million for the region.
One by one, exhibitors began to drop out of the show. By the week's end, more than 200 exhibitors had cancelled plans to attend, and soon after, Reed Exhibitions was forced to announce the postponement of the Eastern Outdoor Show event. Shortly thereafter, Reed agreed to refund fees to all exhibitors.
Reed Exhibitions also hosts the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The SHOT Show is the largest trade event for the shooting, hunting, and firearms industry for many years, and it remains the biggest event of its kind in the world.
It now appears Reed Exhibitions shot the entire industry in the foot, and a perceived chink in the armor may open the floodgates. The industry understand that once water goes over the dam, the damage is done.
Unfortunately, it appears the flow will continue as long as there is constructive dialog among all of the parties responsible for gun control in this country.
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.