To encourage collegiate target shooting at both varsity and club levels, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is inviting schools to apply for a total of $300,000 in grants to be awarded through its Collegiate Shooting Sports Initiative.

NSSF, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry, has awarded more than $650,000 to 75 colleges to help establish, expand and sustain shooting clubs and teams. Grant applications are available at www.nssf.org/college and must be submitted by September 21.

“Interest among college students in target shooting and firearms safety is growing at schools nationwide, and NSSF grants are helping to support the programs in which students can participate at whatever level they choose,”said Zach Snow, NSSF manager of shooting promotions.

Schools that have received CSSI grants include Harvard, Yale, George Mason, Purdue Ecclesia College, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, CalState Channel Islands, Pratt Community College, Michigan State University, University of Florida and Texas A&M.

CSSI grant-supported programs have helped double participation at the ACUI Intercollegiate Clay Target Championship over the last four years. The 2012 championships featured 520 registered shooters from 59 schools, a 15 percent increase over 2011.

Snow reports that the ACUI office receives an average of 10 inquiries per month from parents, students and coaches asking how to start a college team and get involved with the ACUI tournament.

While competition attracts one type of student, recreational target shooting draws students who want an introduction to the shooting sports and firearms safety. NSSF grants are helping to establish these campus-organized clubs. Such widespread interest prompted NSSF to develop its “How to Start a Club” resource guide. The guide is filled with helpful advice on starting both competitive teams and recreational shooting clubs, and includes samples of membership forms and club bylaws.

Anyone interested in starting or strengthening a college shotgun, rifle or pistol team or club can find resources and grant opportunities at www.nssf.org/college.

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Image courtesy NSSF

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