The move is in response to Reed Exhibitions’ decision to restrict AR15-style "modern sporting rifles" from the Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show early this year following the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 young children and seven others.
The restriction sparked a good bit of outrage from the shooting-community and ultimately resulted in the show being canceled.
The Sandy Hook tragedy divided the country and touched off a fierce battle between pro- and anti-gun communities. Attempts to pass new legislation to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines failed as did a call for more stringent background checks on all firearms purchases.
Reed Exhibition’s early stance on AR-style rifles caused the company to lose its 30-year gig of managing the largest annual hunting and tactical firearms show in the world.
“Reed Exhibitions provided excellent service to NSSF and the customers of the SHOT Show for more than three decades, however the company’s decision to restrict the sale of certain types of firearms this year at its consumer hunting and fishing show — an event unrelated to NSSF and the SHOT Show — was in conflict with NSSF’s mission to serve the shooting sports industry,” according to a recent NSSF press release.
NSSF is now searching for a new show management company to manage and produce the Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show beginning with the 2014 SHOT Show, which is scheduled for Jan. 14-17 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas.