TISHOMINGO, Okla. (KTEN) — Murray State College is one of four NRA-approved and affiliated schools in the United States that offer a short-term gunsmithing course.

After a recent request to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, MSC is taking aim at a more advanced course of study to repair, modify, design or build firearms.

"Murray State College will be the first one in America to offer a bachelor's degree in this," said MSC President Tim Faltyn. "Part of it is the earning potential for our students. We will be able to teach students more skills that will make them more attractive in the marketplace."

MSC's gunsmithing degree has been a two-year program since 1979, but if the school is approved to provide a bachelor's degree, students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a four-year program, perfect their skills, and develop more connections within the industry.

"[Gun] smithing firearms, despite sounding older, is still very alive and well," said first year student Jeremiah Massie. "There's not a lot of places to learn it unless you go and find somebody to personally teach you and apprentice you. They can only do that for so many people."

Faltyn said graduates earning a two-year degree make around $72,000 annually at the entry market level. With a four-year degree, that starting salary could bump up to $92,000.

"We have letters of support for this degree from the U.S. Department of Defense down to the local gunsmiths," Faltyn said. "If we can be the first and only [school] in America, we become a hub for all these gun manufacturers."

Faltyn added that that if MSC's four-year program is approved, students could begin graduating with a bachelor's degree in gunsmithing by spring 2024.