The White Plains Examiner

Bullet Fragments Confirmed Outside Greenburgh Range

We are part of The Trust Project

The police report investigating claims that a metal fragment, which struck a resident of the Ardsley Chase subdivision in her backyard off Birch Hill Road in June, originated from the nearby shooting range operated by the Westchester County Police Revolver & Rifle League was released last week.

While the investigation could not forensically confirm that fragments tested came from the range, investigators did find numerous rounds and lead fragments outside the range and circumstantially linked the incident at Birch Hill Road to discharge of firearms by one of two individuals shooting at targets at the nearby range at the same time the resident said she was struck.

The report states that according to range personnel, the metal target used at the time in question was not appropriate for use at the Westchester County Police Revolver & Rifle League range.

“The type of metal target used by the shooter and placed into the dirt berm gradually gave way causing the ammunition to strike it at an angle creating a condition for the rounds to ricochet. The hundreds of rounds and lead fragments observed by investigators located down range in the direction of the overgrown grassy hill region above/outside the range, abuts a residential neighborhood. The following locations were observed to be laden with numerous bullet fragments, consistent with originating from the Westchester County Police Pistol and Rifle Range; atop the stone cliff, in the grassy area near the high tension power lines, along a dirt roadway which runs in a north to south direction intersecting the grassy area just west of the stone cliff,” the report stated.

The gun range, which is not affiliated with the police, had been using a former quarry for target practice since 1941.

Although the range was in striking distance of the Sprain Brook Parkway, operators insisted a 30-foot rock wall, the steep angle of the former quarry and the location of shooting stations made it impossible for bullets to escape the facility, which also is close to the Ardsley Middle School.

Concerned, Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said there are no state regulations specific to shooting ranges and he proposed an ordinance to regulate outdoor shooting ranges in the township. The proposal, originally scheduled to go to a public hearing in August, likely would have closed the range permanently due to its tight restrictions and potential fines. However, the property owner, Con Edison, quickly terminated the 57-year-old lease when a lawsuit between the range and residents ensued.

Feiner continues to seek some sort of shooting range regulation. “I learned that gun ranges are not regulated by New York State or by the federal government. Unlike some businesses that must be licensed, there is no government entity that regulates, inspects and annually licenses gun ranges. I plan on contacting state and federal officials and will ask that legislation be considered to license, regulate and inspect gun ranges,” Feiner said. “I’m also concerned about soil contamination from gun ranges that have not been tested for lead contamination in many years or decades. If the ranges would be required to be licensed, we could require annual testing of lead.”

We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.