The organizers of Europe’s largest guns and outdoors show have postponed the 4-day event thanks to precautions taken over the spread of COVID-19, most widely known as “coronavirus.”
For over 40 years, firearms manufacturers, security and defense contractors, outdoor equipment companies, etc. have gathered in Bavaria, Germany, to make the Internationale Waffen Ausstellung (International Weapons Exhibition) Europe’s most prominent forum for showcasing the latest and greatest technology in their respective fields.
With attendees ranging from sportsmen and professional competitors to representatives of various armed forces from around the world, IWA OutdoorClassics — or just IWA for short — has essentially served as Europe’s headlining counterpart to the massive American SHOT Show, organized by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and held annually in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The IWA’s website was just updated with a message that the show, which was originally supposed to be held March 6-9, will now be moved to a later date sometime this year. According to Soldier Systems, the organizing body responsible for IWA has officially moved the event to September, between the 3rd and the 6th of the month.
Citing the spread of coronavirus, the organizers maintained that the show could not go on as planned because an environment facilitating “diverse establishment and expansion of business relationships” could not be created with the disease lurking around.
The related Enforce Tac and U.T.SEC conferences have also been postponed to September, taking place on the 1st and 2nd of the month. Enforce Tac focuses on command, control, and operational hardware typically fielded by security agencies, while U.T.SEC revolves around drones and other unmanned technologies.
According to the New York Times’ updated coronavirus tracking page, Germany has reported over 130 confirmed cases of COVID-19, though with no fatalities. At the moment, Italy holds the most number of cases outside of China and South Korea, with 1,694 infected and 34 deaths.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention currently advises travelers to avoid Italy until after the outbreak is contained, while the US State Department has parts of the country listed as “Do Not Travel" for fear of infection.