PEORIA — A mass shooting at a Florida high school Feb. 14 has put the National Rifle Association in the crosshairs like few school shootings before have.

Students around the country are staging 17-minute walkouts or sit-ins — one minute for each victim — Wednesday to mark the one-month anniversary of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Their organizing and news that the shooter had been involved in an NRA-funded school program helped bring unaccustomed scrutiny to the NRA’s role in funding school and youth programs.

An analysis of NRA public tax records by The Associated Press found the organization’s foundation granted more than $7.3 million to about 500 schools from 2010 to 2016. The organization also contributed more than $16 million to 4-H groups, Boy Scout troops and youth programs at private gun clubs during the six-year period.

Area schools and youth groups were among the beneficiaries, with two schools, the Boy Scouts and a shooting club receiving about $60,000.

NRA grants to schools and youth programs is a small share of the $61 million the organization has given to various groups since 2010. But the amount has nearly quadrupled from 2010 to 2014, according to The Associated Press, prompting some opponents to call the funding a thinly veiled attempt to recruit the next generation of NRA members.

Broward County Schools, home to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, stopped accepting NRA funding after the shooting. Denver Public Schools also announced it will no longer apply for NRA grants. But many schools and youth groups don’t plan to follow the two school districts’ lead.

The NRA is also known as a leader in gun safety and gun education willing to help cash-strapped organizations. George Clay, Scouting executive and CEO of the W.D. Boyce Council of Boy Scouts, dwells on that aspect of the NRA’s reputation, which complements the Boy Scouts supervised shooting sports activities.

“As part of our shared goal of ensuring safe and responsible use of firearms, the NRA Foundation has provided grants to W.D. Boyce Council to acquire training materials and equipment,” Clay said.

In 2015, the local Boy Scouts received $7,000 in NRA funding for a general shooting program. The local council also received a grant in 2018.

NRA contributions subsidize the cost of the Peoria Skeet and Trap Club’s summer youth league. Without the grants, said club member Greg Hufnagel, young participants would have to pay $20 instead of $10 for 50 clay targets.

“It’s great because it gives kids an opportunity and we don’t have loads of income,” Hufnagel said.

The club received $6,000 grants in 2015 and 2016 for shooting programs.

Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, or JROTC, programs at Richwoods High School and Pekin Community High School, used NRA grants for equipment and range development. Manual Academy also has a JROTC program but it has not requested NRA funding.

Pekin’s program received about $18,000 from 2011 to 2015. Administrators say there are no records of the program receiving NRA funding since then.

Chris Coplan, spokesman for Peoria Public Schools, said the grants awarded to Richwoods’ JROTC-Marines are part of a national initiative that supports youth marksmanship teams. Grants in 2013 and 2014 totaling $22,000, were used to buy equipment, including air rifles for the marksmanship team. Supplies bought with the grants belong to the JROTC-Marines, not the school, Coplan said.

JROTC leaders say NRA funding has become more important as military budgets have been cut.

Pam Adams can be reached at 686-3245 or Follow her on Twitter @padamspam.