After the historic groundbreaking of the new gunsmithing facilities at Murray State, the ORA leadership wanted to learn more and discover ways to connect and support this vital work. What they did not realize is the extent of the passion of Murray State and how they have a clear vision on how to support and build up the firearm community in the State of Oklahoma.


Last year, our legislators approved $10 million to fund the new gunsmithing facility for Murray State College. What this provided was not only funding for physical facilities, but comes with more opportunity for Oklahomans. One of the many reasons Murray State is a stand-out school is its gunsmithing program, but this new facility allows this program to be a full 4-year degree. Many jobs in gunsmithing require a bachelor degree and in the past students had to seek out another degree program for this credential. Now students can stay at Murray State College and continue pursuing the same passion that led them there in the first place all the while leading to better jobs. It is a win-win for all who are involved!

This caught our attention. ORA Vice President David Gaskill attended the ground-breaking and as a follow up, the ORA leadership made another trip to become better acquainted. What we didn’t fully expect was to be amazed by the vision and passion of the leadership, from President Faltyn, Assistant Vice President of External Affairs Jordyn Frazier, and the instructors that we talked to during our visit.

Our tour started in the current gunsmithing facilities with mills, lathes, and other machining equipment filling the rooms.

The next stop at the tour were the classrooms that were specific to gunsmithing. Instead of traditional tables and chairs, these classrooms are filled with workbenches and each student’s toolbox, which were personalized with stickers of brands and affiliations, giving a peek at the personality and passions of the students.

Often we think of gunsmithing as a technical discipline, however as we observed on our tour, it is a work of art. Stocks, barrels, and various components filled in the spaces and we were told about how the students will end up building a rifle from scratch including a mix of skills including blueing of the metals, woodwork with the stock, and machining and milling to put together the metal components.

However, our tour was not limited to gunsmithing as Murray State has a competitive shotgun program in which students can also participate. Students in this program can benefit from scholarships, intercollegiate competitions, team atmosphere, and collaboration with the gunsmithing program.

Murray State’s shotgun team is lead by coach Scott Robertson, with accomplishments including:

  • 17 time member US Sporting Clays
  • 4 Time Pan American Champion
  • 2 Time Grand Champion SCA, USSCA, NSCA, and PASS National Champion
  • 5 Time World Champion
  • 8 Time NSCA Sub Guage HOA Nationa Champion
  • 56 All-American Teams
  • 2 Time All Around Shotgun National Champion
  • ESPN Outdoor Gold Medalist
  • Texas State Sporting Clays Hall of Fame
  • National Sporting Clays Hall of Fame

Clay Robertson, a gunsmithing student, also has an impressive shotgun record as the 2023 Helice World Champion, Member of the 2023 US Helice Team, with a Bronze Medal in World Championships. There are other notable students on the team including Noah Gray, Walker Redman, and Jordan King.

The Murray State Campus supports their shotgun students with one of the few schools nationwide that has a firing range on campus. It features a skeet field, 5 stand range, 12 station for sporting clays, in addition to rifle and pistol ranges – a dream for any firearm enthusiast!

It was President Tim Faltyn that met us at the shotgun range and personally showed us around the rest of the campus telling us his vision for the school and how he integrates the shooting sports and gunsmithing. This creates a great competitive advantage for the school for students that can’t find these full-fledged programs and resources on most campuses.

We left our tour of the campus impressed by the vision and leadership at Murray State and how they are looking towards the future– developing programs that support students drawn to the outdoors and shooting sports, and looking for careers in technical fields with full 4 year programs such as seen with the gunsmithing program. Their goal: to be a national model for safe and responsible gun ownership.

It is this kind of vision and action that promises a bright future for Oklahoma through thoughtful academic programs with the primary goal of developing more students and providing opportunity for everyone.