America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 47

PHOTOS BY TIM WILLIAMS

G R E A T

A M E R I C A N

O U T D O O R

S H O W

Last year, a ban on AR-style rifles
caused the cancellation of the
long-running Eastern Sports and
Outdoor Show. So this year, the
National Rifle Association stepped
in with the Great American Outdoor
Show, an event both bigger and
better than its predecessor.

hen Britain-based Reed Exhibitions made the decision to ban
the display of ar-style rifles-the most popular type of rifle in
the United States-at last year's Eastern Sports and Outdoor
Show, few realized the devastating effect of the decision. Many
exhibitors boycotted the show in anger over the ban; so many,
in fact, that the show itself was subsequently cancelled for
2013. For Harrisburg, Pa., and the surrounding region, the
result was an economic hit to the tune of some
$88 million.
Just as devastating, the more than 100,000 attendees who looked forward every
year to the 65-year-old show were left without their favorite late-winter pastime:
glimpsing the latest and greatest in guns and other outdoor sporting equipment.
"As we watched this unfold last year, we knew things were going to be bad,"
said Jeff Haste, chairman of the Dauphin County Board of Commissioners and
Life member of the nra. "For many local motels, the week of the show represents
their entire first quarter. And some small mom-and-pop vendors who work all

year making goods just to sell at the
show saw their entire year lost."
Sharon Altland, vice president of
operations for the Hershey Harrisburg
Regional Visitors Bureau, also knew
those cold, hard facts.
"Closing the show had very
widespread effects-everyone from
hotels, to local restaurants, to gas
stations, to food service people at the
Farm Show Complex, and employees
working for all of those kinds of
businesses," she said. "It was absolutely
devastating for the area."
Once the decision was made to
cancel the show, everyone involved
realized that bringing the show back
must be a top priority-for both the
economy, and for the sportsmen and
women in the area.
A total of 17 separate entities met
with local leaders in an attempt to
revive the show for 2014. Ultimately,
it was the National Rifle Association's
plan that met with the Pennsylvania
Farm Show Complex and Expo
Center's vision for starting over.

NRA To The Rescue

"Right after it was cancelled, I made
the decision that nra needed to go
look at this and evaluate what it would
take to produce this show," said Kyle
Weaver, executive director of nra
General Operations (nra-go). "I knew
we were the right group to make sure
America's

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - April 2014

America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 1
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 2
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 3
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 4
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 5
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 6
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 7
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 8
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 9
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 10
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 11
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 12
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 13
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 14
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America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 16
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 17
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 18
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 19
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 20
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 21
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 22
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America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 24
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 25
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 26
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 27
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 28
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 29
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 30
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 31
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America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 33
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 34
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 35
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 36
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 37
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 38
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America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 40
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 41
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America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 45
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 46
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 47
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America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 49
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