Over the past six months, countless sporting events in the U.S. have been canceled, postponed or had a location change due to measures intended to hinder the spread of Covid-19. Indeed, the coronavirus pandemic even forced the cancellation of the historic National Matches, as well as NRA-sanctioned shooting tournaments across the country.
For a time, it seemed as if there would be no formal competitive shooting matches at all in the foreseeable future. However, on Thursday, May 28 the NRA, encouraged by many state and municipal governments declaring their respective jurisdictions “open for business,” lifted the suspension of all sanctioned matches, beginning in July. See the full statement below.
On June 15, the NRA Competitive Shooting Division resumed accepting tournament registrations for sanctioned matches taking place on or after July 1, 2020. Clubs and match directors were urged to comply with federal, state and local guidelines regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. The NRA has continued to monitor the Covid-19 situation as needed. Please contact the NRA Competitive Shooting Division at [email protected], visit the website at competitions.nra.org or follow on Facebook at facebook.com/nracompetitiveshooting.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had an unfortunate impact on competitive shooting,” said NRA Director of Competitive Shooting Cole McCulloch. “The NRA was delighted to begin the process of sanctioning matches on July 1, 2020.”
McCulloch also highlighted one important fact: This isn’t a complete return to normal match operations. However, the NRA’s resumption of sanctioning local matches is an effort to get shooters back on the firing line with respect to local restrictions.
“One of the missions of the NRA is to promote competitive shooting, and although the 2020 NRA Nationals at Camp Atterbury were canceled, shooters have been able to compete this summer at local matches across the country,” added McCulloch.
As to be expected, competitive shooters welcomed the news wholeheartedly. When the announcement first hit social media, the reaction was generally positive. One elated shooter shared the news from the NRA Competitive Shooting Facebook page with the caption, “Things are picking up.”
Another shooter, Ted Carter, a member of the NRA Board of Directors, applauded the decision and said, “Clubs and Match Directors have always been, and will continue to be, the best decision makers for their tournaments.”
While the sanctioning of local matches indicates some return to the normal competition schedule for 2020, large matches like the National Championships at Camp Atterbury (Precision Pistol, Smallbore Rifle and High Power Rifle) and the NRA National Silhouette Championships remain shuttered until next year. New range restrictions, particularly on indoor ranges, may also be in place, including social-distancing on firing lines and elsewhere, wearing masks and use of hand sanitizer.
The bottom line—when you step on the firing line at an NRA-sanctioned match, or any formal competition for that matter, you are doing much more than simply competing or displaying your support for the Second Amendment. You’re participating in a tradition that’s well over a century old, a real piece of Americana that has been one of the major functions of the National Rifle Association of America since its founding in 1871—competition and marksmanship. Pandemic or not, participating in a local match, training or even just dry-fire practice at home is an excellent way to spend your time.