When Did Shooting Become a Texas Sport?

A look at the history of shooting and how it became a popular Texas sport.

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In Texas, shooting is more than just a hobby – it’s a way of life. For many Texans, the love of shooting guns started at a young age. Whether it was going hunting with dad or shooting targets in the backyard, guns have always been a part of Texas culture.

But when did shooting become such a popular sport in Texas? Let’s take a look at the history of gun use in the Lone Star State.

The first recorded instance of gun use in Texas was in 1689 when French explorer Sieur de la Salle used a arquebus to shoot and kill two Indians who were attacking him. Since then, guns have been an integral part of Texas history.

In 1835, guns played a pivotal role in the Texas Revolution when Texan soldiers used them to fight for independence from Mexico. After winning their independence, Texans continued to use guns to defend their new homeland from Native American attacks and Mexican invasions.

Guns were also important during the Civil War, as Texas was a key battleground state. The Union Army tried to blockade the state’s ports to prevent Confederate soldiers from receiving supplies, but Texan sharpshooters used their rifles to pick off Union sailors from long range.

By the late 19th century, Texans were using guns for recreation as well as self-defense. Hunting became a popular pastime, and firearms shows and competitions began to spring up across the state. Today, Texans continue to enjoy shooting as a sport and hobby, and gun ownership remains high.

A Brief History of Guns in Texas

The history of guns in Texas is a long and storied one. Guns have been a part of the Texas frontier since the early days of settlement. In the 1820s, when Texas was still part of Mexico, American settlers began to move into the region in large numbers. These settlers brought with them a culture of gun ownership and violence that was very different from that of the Mexican inhabitants.

The early years of Texas were marked by a series of bloody conflicts between the American settlers and the Mexican government. The most famous of these was the Texan Revolution of 1835-1836, which culminated in the creation of the independent Republic of Texas. Throughout these years, guns played a vital role in Texan society. They were used for hunting, self-defense, and warfare.

After Texas became an independent nation, it briefly maintained its status as a gun-friendly society. However, this changed in 1845 when Texas was annexed by the United States and became a state. As part of the United States, Texas was subject to federal gun laws which were much more restrictive than those that had existed before.

This period of increased gun regulation was relatively short-lived, however. In 1860, Texas seceded from the United States and joined the Confederate States of America. During the Civil War, these Confederate states enacted their own set of gun laws which were even more relaxed than those that had existed before secession.

After the Civil War ended in 1865, Texas once again became subject to Federal gun laws. However, these laws were not strictly enforced in the Western parts of the state, where many Texans still owned guns and used them for hunting and self-defense.

In recent years, Texans have increasingly embraced their gun-friendly heritage. In 1996, Texas passed a law allowing residents to carry concealed handguns in public places. This law sparked a national debate over gun rights and led to similar laws being passed in other states across America.

The Rise of Competitive Shooting in Texas

The rise of competitive shooting in Texas can be traced back to the early days of the state’s history. When the first settlers arrived in Texas, they brought with them a strong tradition of marksmanship. Hunting was a necessary part of life for many early Texans, and it wasn’t long before competitions began to spring up.

The first known competitive shooting event in Texas took place in 1838, when a group of men gathered in San Augustine to shoot at targets for prizes. This event is believed to be the first organized shooting competition in the state.

Since then, competitive shooting has grown steadily in popularity. Today, there are dozens of different types of competitions held across the state each year, attracting shooters of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re interested in challenging yourself or just watching some amazing shooters in action, there’s sure to be a competitive shooting event that’s right for you!

The Growth of the Texas gun industry

The gun industry in Texas has seen significant growth in recent years. In 2016, the state had more than 2,700 gun dealers, manufacturer and importer licenses, an increase of nearly 20 percent from 2012.

The industry is worth an estimated $4.5 billion to the state’s economy, and employs more than 30,000 people.

Texas is home to some of the country’s most popular gun shows, including the NRA’s annual show in Houston, which attracts more than 60,000 attendees.

The state also has a strong hunting tradition, and there are more than 1 million deer hunters in Texas.

Texas has long been a leader in the gun industry, but the growth of the past few years is unprecedented.

The Impact of the Texas gun culture

Texas has always had a strong gun culture. In the early days of the state, guns were necessary for self-defense against hostile native tribes and wildlife. Hunting was also a common pastime, and many early settlers made a living by selling furs and pelts.

As the state became more settled, gun ownership became more widespread. Politicians and law enforcement officials began to view guns as a potential threat to public safety, and over time, a series of laws were passed to regulate their ownership and use.

In recent years, the debate over gun control has intensified in the wake of mass shootings such as those in El Paso and Odessa. For many Texans, guns are seen as an essential part of their way of life. Others believe that the state’s gun laws are too lax and that they contribute to the high rate of gun violence in the state.


By the end of the 20th century, shooting had become a widely accepted pastime in Texas. While there are a variety of factors that contributed to this shift, perhaps the most important was the increasing popularity of hunting and gun ownership in the state. From quail hunting lodges to backyard plinking, shooting was no longer the exclusive domain of ranchers and farmers. Today, Texas is home to some of the largest and most popular gun shows in the country, and its citizens are some of the most active participants in firearms culture.

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