Gun Control or No, Sportsmen Show is More Popular Than Ever

Crowds are expected at the Garden State Outdoor Sportsmen Show, to be held this week in Edison.

In the wake of the deadly last year, several guns shows in the area were called off.

Because of New Jersey's restrictive gun ownership and transfer laws, the state doesn't have gun shows, per se, where firearms are bought and sold.

But New Jersey has the next best thing for the sportsman, a variety of outdoors and hunting shows. One of the oldest and best known takes place this week in Edison, the Garden State Outdoor Sports Show.

Despite the outcry over guns and push by politicians for even more restrictive gun control laws - and in some quarters, a compete ban on guns - the Garden State show, which is celebrating its 30th anniversy, exhibits few signs of losing its popularity.

Thousands routinely pack the exhibits and demonstrations during the days the show is open.

The show is about all manner of outdoor sportsmanship: fishing, archery, and all types of hunting, and how to prepare, cook, eat, and enjoy the game you kill. There is also a strong component of conservation, in the Teddy Roosevelt style of respecting and preserving outdoor game hunting.

Planned exhibits, lectures, and events include fly fishing, paintball shooting, and archery instruction, and even an exhibit on white tail deer brought down by hunters. The multi-arenaed show appeals to everyone from beginners to hunting pros.

There are even sportsmen's clubs to join and ways to advocate for retaining the Second Amendment. The National Rifle Association has a table at the event.

The show, which starts Thursday, January 10, runs through Sunday, January 13 at the New Jersey Convention Center in Raritan Center, Edison. Hours are Thursday and Friday, 1 pm to 9 pm; Saturday, 9 am to 8 pm; and Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm.

A list of exhibitors and vendors at the show can be found here. A list of phone numbers and email addresses for questions about the show can be found here.

Online admission, good for one day, is $10 and includes a choice of free subscriptions to Field & Stream, Outdoor Life, or Popular Science. In-person admission is $15, and must be paid in cash only. Children are admitted free with a paid adult ticket. 

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