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Harrisburg, Pa. Gun Show Called Off After Dispute Over Assault Weapons

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(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A week after deciding to ban the display and sale of assault weapons, the backlash has prompted organizers of one of the nation’s biggest outdoor shows to postpone the annual event at Harrisburg’s Farm Show Complex.

Initially, the company that stages the annual Eastern Sports and Outdoor Show in Harrisburg said it decided to ban the sale of “certain products” to avoid attracting attention, given the current debate over gun control and gun safety.

But at the time, the chairman of the Unified Sportsmen of Pennsylvania said he thought the company had merely thrown gasoline on the fire (see previous story).

Now, after a week of protests (related story) and boycotts by vendors and participants (another related story), Reed Exhibitions says on the show’s web site that it has, for the time being, decided to postpone the show’s run, originally scheduled to start February 2nd.

The company does not say if it will reschedule the show.   In its statement, Reed says it is unfortunate that the “current emotionally charged atmosphere” has resulted in the event being overshadowed by a decision that affected only a small percentage of more than a thousand exhibits.

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