State officials could have a new weapon in their arsenal as they try to lure gun and ammunition manufacturers to Oklahoma.
Murray State College leaders say the school’s gunsmithing program could become a huge economic development driver thanks to a $10 million legislative investment that will allow the college to offer the nation’s first bachelor’s degree in gunsmithing.
“The idea was this is an investment in an industry that can locate in our state, and regionally, we have the ability distribution-wise to become a powerhouse in this,” Murray State College President Tim Faltyn said in an interview.
Murray State College has offered a gunsmithing program since 1979. Annually, the school admits 30 students to its two-year degree program at its Tishomingo campus.
By offering a bachelor’s degree in gunsmithing, the college could admit more students and offer training on industry trends, campus officials said.
“Gunsmithing is a very old profession, but we’re seeing a major shift toward embracing modern technology,” said Chad Mercer, Murray State’s gunsmithing program chair. “The industry’s been begging for students to come out of here with some higher, more technical knowledge.”
The two-year program teaches students how to customize guns, in addition to the fundamentals of firearms design and repair. But Mercer said the bachelor’s degree curriculum will be crafted with the needs of the firearms industry in mind as gun-makers are increasingly seeking graduates with digital skills in areas like 3-D printing and laser welding.
This is fantastic.
The industry needs more skilled people in modern firearms manufacturing.
There is a college in Austria, in the heart of Austria’s weapon manufacturing region that has a weapon engineering program. There is another in the UK associated with Cranfield and another with Leeds.
It great to see this in the US.