In the face of restrictions resulting from the current COVID-19 epidemic, the National Rifle Association's Competitive Shooting Division took the nearly unprecedented step of canceling its National Matches, a step not taken since the U.S. entry into the Korean War 70 years ago. Along with this announcement, the NRA also canceled all sanctioned matches across the country, but this latter restriction is now loosening as the nation opens back up.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unfortunate impact on competitive shooting," said NRA Director of Competitive Shooting Cole McCulloch. "The NRA is delighted to begin the process of sanctioning matches on July 1, 2020."
The statement found on the NRA Competitive Shooting Programs homepage reads as follows:
"...the NRA Competitive Shooting Division will begin accepting tournament registrations for sanctioned matches taking place on or after July 1, 2020.
Clubs and match directors are urged to comply with federal, state and local guidelines regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. The NRA will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and/or make additional statements as needed."
NRA Director of Competitive Shooting Cole McCulloch highlighted the fact that, while this isn't a complete return to normal operations, the NRA's resumption of sanctioning local matches is an effort to get shooters back into action as much as current restrictions allow.
"One of the missions of the NRA is to promote competitive shooting, and although the 2020 NRA Nationals at Camp Atterbury have been canceled, shooters will be able to compete this summer at local matches across the country," McCulloch said.
Sanctioned matches will only move forward with NRA support following local club compliance with COVID-19 guidelines in their area. These regulations are varying and fluid across the country, so clubs looking to resume their local matches must keep up-to-date on restrictions that apply to them, as well as follow the NRA Competitive Shooting Facebook page or email firstname.lastname@example.org for updates on sanction guidance.
While the sanctioning of local matches indicates some return to the normal flow of competition, the rest of 2020 certainly won't be a standard year in NRA competitions.
Despite the resumption of local matches, the cancellation of the NRA National Silhouette Championship, NRA Precision Pistol Championship, NRA High Power Championship and NRA Smallbore Championship is still a reality that will hinder a return to normal for competition shooters across the country. For more details on the latest in NRA Competitive Shooting, visit SSUSA.org.