Texas State Rifle Association (TSRA) was founded and officially organized in 1919 although some reports mention a “Texas State Rifle Association” that predates that time. The Texas State Rifle Association started when gun clubs and shooting clubs from across the state got together and wanted to compete against each other. In the early 20th Century, TSRA held competitions across the state, much like we do today. These matches were held in a city, announced in a newspaper, and brought in Texans and even those from neighboring states. For almost 100 years, the Texas State Rifle Association has been committed to our first of many missions: Promoting the Shooting Sports. In 1919, that meant local, regional, and state matches. Now, TSRA holds regional and state matches for over 20 shooting competitions and disciplines.
In the mid-20th century Texas State Rifle Association started sending out newsletters to its members known as the TSRA Sportsman. May of 2001, the TSRA Sportsman evolved to a full-color bi-monthly publication. Regardless of its appearance, the TSRA Sportsman has always served to update members on current news, hunter education programs, shooting sports competitions, and important issues affecting their Second Amendment rights.
TSRA in the 21st Century
Driven by its strong legislative focus and need to be an association for the entire state, TSRA moved to Austin, Texas in July of 2009. Previously, the TSRA had been located in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. The Texas State Rifle Association will be 100 Years Old in 2019.
In the mid-eighties, the Texas State Rifle Association Board of Directors saw the need to establish a Political Action Committee (PAC) and a full-time lobbyist in Austin. This was done to take a more active role in state legislative matters which could affect use of firearms for sporting and self-defense purposes. Find more information at www.tsrapac.com.
Although the TSRA Legislative Director and legislative efforts had many successes in those first few years, one of the biggest successes came when Texas passed Concealed Handgun License legislation in 1995. TSRA also saw successes in the Texas Legislature by helping pass legislation like the Castle Doctrine, Employer Parking Lot Law, and the Motorist Protection Act (or Car Carry). In the last few years, TSRA has been instrumental in passing the CHL on Campus Law or “Campus Carry” and the Licensed Open Carry Law. TSRA also worked to help pass Proposition 6 on the November 2015 Ballot Proposition Election. Proposition 6 provides the protection of the Texas Constitution for hunting and fishing.
In 2008, the TSRA Board of Directors saw the need to establish a Foundation, known as the Texas State Rifle Association Foundation. The Foundation has taken the lead role in supporting youth shooting throughout Texas, training coaches, providing equipment grants, college scholarships, and much more.