The NRA Has Spent Millions Promoting Shooting At U.S. Schools

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Aaron Henson/Released/Public Domain

The National Rifle Association Foundation has pumped millions into sport shooting programs in schools across the U.S.

As America continues grappling with the issue of gun violence, more information is surfacing about the extent to which the National Rifle Association subsidizes shooting sport programs in schools across the country.

An analysis by ABC News found that the NRA's charitable arm -- the National Rifle Associate Foundation -- has pumped millions of dollars into American schools.

From 2010 through 2016, the charitable subsidiary to the pro-gun group gave $7.3 million in grants to more than 500 schools, school clubs, and school districts to fund youth clubs and provide equipment for varsity competitive shooting teams.

Following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month, it came to light that the NRA was responsible in part for funding the shooting program attended by Nikolas Cruz, who took the lives of 17 people with an AR-15 rifle.

Through its Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC), the high school received some of the almost $127,00 Broward County Public Schools received from the NRA from 2013 to 2016.

With the success of its JROTC program, the Broward County Public Schools received an additional $5,066 from the NRA Foundation this year, but following the recent tragedy, the school district decided to return its latest NRA grants.

Other schools have followed Broward County's lead, but not all are turned off by the fact that the NRA helps support them financially:

Woodcreek High School Sportsmen’s Club in Roseville, California, which has been overseeing the school’s trap, skeet and sporting clays teams for 13 years, has received five-figure annual grants from the NRA Foundation, totaling $124,559 between 2010 and 2016.

“This school club allows students who do not have an interest in participating in traditional high school sports the opportunity to connect with, compete for and be a part of the high school sports experience,” Woodcreek High School Sportsmen’s Club head coach Alex Gray told ABC News.

Gray said students must complete an extensive one-day training course prior to joining the school's team.

Likewise, in another California school where NRA donations constitute a healthy dose of program funding, the sport would struggle to exist without the NRA's help:

At a small high school in Sutter, California, shooting clubs are among the most popular clubs that boasts more than 80 participants out of the total of 750 students.

“It’s an expensive sport,” Sutter Union High School Superintendent and Principal Ryan Robison said.
“The nature of the sport attracts highly motivated and dedicated students,” Robison said. “It is a very technical activity and requires a high level of concentration and discipline.”