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Shooting – Shooting Sports History

June 6, 2011

The National Rifle Association (NRA) of the United Kingdom was founded in 1860 to raise the funds for an annual national rifle meeting “for the encouragement of Volunteer Rifle Corps, and the promotion of Rifle-shooting throughout Great Britain”. Veteran Union officers Col. William C. Church and Gen. George Wingate formed the National Rifle Association of America in 1871 for the purpose of promoting and encouraging rifle shooting on a “scientific” basis.

The popularity of the National Matches forced the event to be moved to Camp Perry. In 1903, the U.S. Congress created the National Board for the Promotion of Rifle Practice (NBPRP), an advisory board to the Secretary of the Army. A nearly identical charter was awarded to the NRA. The NBPRP (now known as the Civilian Marksmanship Program) also participates in the National Matches at Camp Perry.

In 1903, the NRA began to establish rifle clubs at all major colleges, universities and military academies. Today, more than one million youth participate in shooting sports events and affiliated programs through groups. French pistol champion and founder of the modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin, participated in many of these early competitions. Internationally, the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) has oversight of all Olympic shooting events worldwide, while National Governing Bodies (NGBs) administer the sport within each country.

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