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Gun Industry Group Backs College Shooting Clubs

Image: Gun Industry Group Backs College Shooting Clubs
(AP Photo/Nancy Palmieri)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 Jul 2016 01:04 PM

A gun-lobbying group has funded 100 college shooting teams, anteing up a total of $1 million to get young people hooked on target sports, the Boston Globe reports.

Despite a rash of mass shootings and high-profile gun violence, the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a Newtown, Conn.-based group that advocates for the firearm industry, gave out over $1 million in grants to clubs and teams at schools across the nation, starting with elite Ivy League institutions.

The foundation began with a $10,000 grant to the Harvard Shooting Club in 2009, and contributed $20,000 to Yale's Pistol & Rifle Club and Skeet & Trap team before the school banned donations from lobbying groups in 2013.

"You don't have to vet any organization you don't have funding from," Thomas Conroy, a university spokesman, said of the ban.

Despite spending thousands at schools like Colby College in Maine, Tufts University in Massachusetts, and Middlebury College in Vermont, the shooting clubs and teams funded by the group in those schools are now defunct. But the organization offers $100,000 a year in grant money, doling out as much as $10,000 to help start new campus clubs, according to its website

"Gun lobbying certainly strikes a lot of people as problematic,'' Barmak Nassirian, director of federal policy for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, told the Globe. "Higher ed has raised money from governments that have horrific human-rights records."

The foundation, headquartered just six miles from Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman shot and killed 20 children and six adults in 2012, spent more than $3 million on political and lobbying expenses, $800,000 in grants, and $7 million in executive benefits and compensation in the past fiscal year, the Globe reported, citing tax filings.

The group's strategy is to promote "lifelong shooter retention" by backing school clubs.

The Shooting Sports group opposed recent gun-control legislation signed by California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday, according to the Los Angeles Times. The organization claimed the legislation would "affect law-abiding Californians while doing nothing to stop the criminal misuse of firearms."

In a statement, it said that, "by acting within 24 hours after being sent these bills, and not allowing the public to voice their opinions in order to depart for his European vacation, the governor compounded the miscarriage of legislative process and procedure while demonstrating disdain for Californians who now face laws that clearly infringe on their constitutional rights."

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A gun-lobbying group has funded 100 college shooting teams, anteing up a total of $1 million to get young people hooked on target sports, the Boston Globe reports.
gun, club, college, team
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2016-04-05
Tuesday, 05 Jul 2016 01:04 PM
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