NRA Foundation grant funds trap team

GBHS trap program receives grant from branch of the National Rifle Association

The grants supplied by the NRA comes in the form of ammunition

Gazette/ iIllustration/EMILY HANSEN

The grants supplied by the NRA comes in the form of ammunition

  The National Rifle Association: the name has been in headlines across the nation because of its controversial policies as a staunchly conservative interest group.

  The NRA Foundation, however, is a branch of the NRA established in 1990 that provides grants to groups that “defend and foster the Second Amendment rights of all law-abiding Americans,” one such program being the Granite Bay High School trap team.

  “The grant for the trap team is a grant that we’ve applied for for the last several years,” Scott Braly, faculty advisor and coach of the GBHS trap team, said. “They don’t send us a check. Their grant is in the form of ammunition.”

 From 2010-2016, the NRA Foundation gave approximately $350,000 in both cash and non-cash grants to schools in Placer County, including GBHS.

  “We store (the ammunition) at the trap range and we use that ammunition to help reduce and defer the cost for the students because trap is quite expensive,” Braly said. “The students are responsible to pay for their own ammunition and range fees for practice. We provide all their tournament ammunition using the grant-provided ammo.”

We provide all their tournament ammunition using the grant-provided ammo

— Scott Braly

  The costs of trap shooting add up quickly: a box of 25 shells is about six dollars, and one box of shells is required per round of trap. A regular tournament typically consists of 50 shots in the morning and 50 in the afternoon, or four boxes of shells per student.

  The grant relieves some of these expenses for families.

  “People that maybe couldn’t afford trap normally can compete in the competitions (because of the grant),” Collin Murer, junior and member of the GBHS trap team, said.

  Ron Severson, retired Roseville Joint Union High School District superintendent, fielded some concerns about the possible political angle of the grant last spring, according to GBHS principal Jennifer Leighton.

  “Of course (some may consider the grant a political statement), although I don’t believe it was intended in this way,” Leighton said in an email interview.

  While they are related, the NRA Foundation and the more widely known NRA interest group are separate entities.

  “There’s different branches of the NRA,” Braly said. “There’s the institute for legislative action branch, which is political. Our grant money comes from the foundation, which is still part of the NRA, but they’re not political. They’re focused on supporting youth shooting sports.”

  The NRA Foundation’s primary goal of funding shooting sports is apolitical.

  “They don’t do any lobbying, they don’t do anything political, they mainly just raise money,” Murer said.

  As for trap shooting itself, Braly is proud of the leadership growth being a part of the team enhances for students, as well as learning about gun safety.

  “The trap meets are amazing,” Braly said. “There’s anywhere from a couple hundred to several hundred students handling their shotguns safely and responsibly. It’s really something to see.”

  The GBHS trap team will start practices for the upcoming season in February, at the Auburn Trap Club.

  “(Trap) is a different exposure to guns and sporting gun culture than we get from the media and other sources,” Braly said. “We don’t always hear about the positive things, such as this sport.”