As the list of vendors that announced they won't take part in the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show grows, some potential event-goers remain on the fence about whether they will attend it or not.

"I'm still thinking about going," said Ethan Crowder of New Freedom.

Event organizer Reed Exhibitions imposed a ban on displaying and selling assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines at what is billed as Pennsylvania's largest outdoor sports show next month in Harrisburg.

"Maybe their being tolerant of some people's views means they are being intolerant of others' views," Nolan Crowder, Ethan Crowder's brother, said of the ban.

The ban followed the deadly Connecticut elementary school shooting that has prompted an ongoing gun control debate in Washington.

The event's website says officials "strongly support the 2nd Amendment" but decided negative attention on such weapons "would distract from the strong focus on hunting and fishing at this family-oriented event and possibly disrupt the broader positive experience of our guests."

Boycott: Some outdoors enthusiasts and vendors are boycotting the show because of the ban on certain guns and the high-capacity magazines.

Fairview Township-based Atlantic Tactical was to take part in the show for the first time this year but withdrew after organizers announced the ban, said Sean Conville, company president.

"It was a decision we were going to make on principle," he said.


While attending a gun and outdoors show in Nevada about a week ago, Conville said he first learned of the ban at the Eastern Sports and Outdoors Show.

The Shoot Show in Las Vegas was also put on by Reed Exhibitions and featured a number of law enforcement products and other guns.

Conville said his company attempted to contact Reed Exhibitions about the ban at Harrisburg but didn't receive replies to phone messages and emails. Ultimately, Conville opted to pull out of the show.

"We feel that their (Reed Exhibitions') decision was a knee-jerk reaction to the current atmosphere surrounding guns," he said.

Support: While everyone is entitled to his own opinion, Conville called Reed Exhibition's decision to ban the particular guns and magazines "extremely radical." But a lot of people appear to agree with that sentiment.

Atlantic Tactical announced on its Facebook page that it was withdrawing from the show, prompting nearly 800 people to "like" and more than 150 people to comment, nearly all of whom showed support, on the announcement.

The company has also received a number of phone calls and emails from those who support the decision, Conville said.

"We are surprised to see that level of articulated support," he said.

Despite a number of people and vendors that are backing the boycott, Nolan Crowder said he's not so sure if that is the way to show disdain for the show's ban.

"I don't know if that's the way to make your voices heard," he said.

- Reach Greg Gross at