The Westchester County Police Revolver and Rifle League (WCPRRL) has been a fixture of Greenburgh, New York since the 1940s. The small range was built into an unused rock quarry in what is now the neighborhood of Ardsley Chase, but the gun club was there before the homes—and their residents—moved in. Now some of those residents want the shooting range gone, and it seems they might get their wish. After weeks of controversy surrounding the gun club after a local resident said she was hit by a bullet fragment from the range, the WCPRRL’s landlord, Con Ed, has decided to terminate their lease.

According to News Westchester 12, Con Ed has given the WCPRRL 30 days to vacate the premises. The gun club has already been closed for the past several weeks pending investigation, but supporters of the range are anything but resigned to the gun club’s closing. WCPRRL members from Greenburgh say that the move to put the range out of business is purely political, and the league’s attorney agrees.

“The range has a 73-year record of safety. If this truly was a public safety issue, it’s one we could have easily resolved,” Robert Berkowitz, who is representing the range, told CBS 2.

The incident at the heart of the controversy occurred in mid-June when a woman living in Ardsey Chase, an affluent neighborhood with homes routinely priced well over a million dollars, told police that she was hit with a object that she thought was a bullet fragment. Police are currently investigating whether that is the case. The WCPRRL, which is not affiliated with law enforcement, claims that it was impossible for a stray bullet to escape the range, especially considering its construction inside a stone quarry and the angle of the shooting range. Regardless, some residents started pushing for the gun club’s permanent closure due to safety concerns.

“We are not talking about golf balls; we are talking about bullets and bullets can kill,” resident Pam Epstein said.

The fight over the range eventually spilled over into Town Hall last week as residents found themselves taking sides over whether the WCPRRL should be closed down. Some insist that the range is a fundamental part of Greensburgh and has a longstanding history of safety. For gun owners, it is also one of the few outdoor shooting ranges in the area. Opponents of the range argue that the facility is loud and potentially hazardous.

The WCPRRL’s treasurer, Scott Palmer, announced recently that the league is working with legal consultants from groups such as the NRA and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). In addition, the gun club has requested that a NRA Range Technical Team review the facility for safety. It is not currently known whether the club will fight the termination of its lease, or what options are available for it to do so.

Image from Chris Short on the flickr Creative Commons

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  • TXgnnr

    Leave it up to a bunch or rich a-holes to shut down a gun range. And of course, some dumb beaver has to get her two cents worth in about safety, etc. I hate NY.

  • John Everett Walker

    Law suits regarding range noise inevitably include somebody claiming bullets making hard landings on them or their property. Our local range had a guy who shot a 9mm at an upward angle into his house and tried to blame it on the range 1/4th mile away. The sheriff’s department didn’t arrest him but his complaint evaporated. Same thing a few miles away. A man did not want the pre-existing range next to his property so tossed a cartridge case into his yard claiming it was a stray from the range. Even Phukko The Clown knows more about firearms than that.

    • tmac3931

      “Americans used to roar like lions for liberty. Now Americans bleat like sheep for security”.
      – Norman Vincent Peale

  • POP

    Exact same thing is happening here in Garland, Texas. Outdoor public range, once on the most rural outskirts of town, now only yards away from affluent neighborhoods. But residents in a nearby city (Rowlett), in an even more affluent area, claim to be victims of stray bullets from our range. Battle has been going on for several years, but the area continues to grow, so it’s only a matter of time!

    • nfafan

      True that. As Americans continue to flee the cesspool of the cities for the ‘burbs – this is what happens.

  • This is why Ranges should be owned, not rented.

    • Pclages

      Yes, but they can be zoned out of existence, also.

  • LimaEcho

    Last time I checked, golf balls kill too.

  • The Dickster

    What is it about New Yak? Seems liker all they want to do is protest from the whinny gov’nah to the NYC mayah who thinks he outranks the Pope. There are so many neat people in NY state but the few wackos (in comparison) seem to give all New Yorkers a bad name.

  • Michael Sabbeth

    I wish the range well. The legal process is more burdensome and destructive than the arguments made against the range. Proving someone fabricated evidence or lied is very difficult although, as seen in some of the comments, it can be done. As a general proposition, the best way to maintain the range is to fight tenaciously but that is expensive.

  • virtualjohn

    Here’s something interesting. Web search “death by golf ball.” I guess that is somehow a more upscale way to die.

  • Ryan

    Aaaaand that’s why I’ll never live in NY (or CA for that matter).

  • Tarnsy

    Face palm.

  • Rich

    We are in California and they tried to shut us down but we own the land and the building. It took a while and a few fights but we are still running it today.

  • Jimboindy

    Had a similar problem, here in Indiana, with a Trap range I belong to. Neighbor wanted us closed, so he called EPA to claim our lead shot contaminated his well water. State EPA did a very professional investigation, documenting under gorund water tables, water samples form surrounding wells and streams and so on. Turned out the neighbor had purposely contaminated his own well. Trap Club is fine. Crappy neighbor now has to install expensive water treatment system on his well or drill a new well and could be charged with intentional water pollution. His water supply is now listed as unsafe, which decreases his property value as it is a matter of public record and must be disclosed to any prospective buyer. EPA could not find any water pollution caused by the lead shot even though the range has been shooting for decades. So much for the claim that lead leaches out form the soil and into the water.

    • Pclages

      ‘Turned out the neighbor had purposely contaminated his own well.’ What an utterly bizarre thing to do.

      • Jimboindy

        True, but it shows just how far some rabid anti-gun nuts will go to make trouble for those who enjoy shooting sports. Their fanatic urges over power their own common sense, assuming they have any common sense.

  • Sid Fields

    It is interesting that the Town of Greenburg is interested in public saftey now. What consideration for saftey did they have when they granted the building permits for the development near the range? Seems to me that money talks!!

  • Pclages

    FIGHT

  • Gray

    All I can say, after looking at pictures and satellite images of the site, is that if she was hit by a bullet fragment from the range, somebody needs to call Warehouse 13, because Oswald’s rifle and some of those ‘Magic Bullets” are in play.

  • Bob

    years ago in MN we had an American Legion rifle range. Some guy who moved in (down range) complained to the police that his house got hit with bullets. The sheriff asked if he had recovered the bullets. The guy said yes and handing him a fully loaded 30-06 round. !!! The sheriff knew that this persons credibility went down the crapper.

  • CombatTrooper

    How much to just buy the land from ConEd?