By Jon Craig
Neighbors of a shooting range in Greenburgh are up in arms over a recent incident in which a resident of Ardsley Chase townhouses was struck by a suspected bullet fragment while in her back yard.
At the June 23 meeting of the Greenburgh Town Board, about 19 residents called for tighter restrictions over the Westchester County Police Revolver & Rifle League or permanently shutting the local shooting range.
Operators voluntarily shut the six-day-a-week practice facility down after the June 12 incident in which a Birch Hill Road resident was struck in the leg by a flat circular object about 4 p.m. Greenburgh Police detectives continue to investigate the possibility it was a bullet fragment, in cooperation with county, state and federal officials. Shooting range owners could not be reached for comment.
Residents are invited to voice their opinions about the shooting range during the next Town Board meeting at 8 p.m. July 8.
On Monday, Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner sent letters to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, state Sen. Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti as well as Village of Ardsley officials to express his concerns about the lack of regulations over any shooting ranges, including the one at 693 Ardsley Road.
The not-for-profit gun range, which is not affiliated with the police, leases the Ardsley Road property from Con Edison. The shooting range is within striking distance of the Sprain Brook Parkway. “Gun shots could conceivably hit a motorist in the future,” Feiner said.
The shooting range also is close to Ardsley Middle School, school bus stops and a playground.
The victim was treated on June 12 for a small scratch by the Ardsley-Secor Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Operators of the Westchester County Police Revolver and Rifle League agreed to suspend all firearm operations at the range pending the outcome of the police investigation. Greenburgh detectives said they are working with the Westchester County Police Ballistics Unit, State Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
There are no state regulations of shooting ranges including the one in Greenburgh, which first opened during the 1940s. The range also is not required to provide security at the site.
“There are no state regulations prohibiting them from operating within shooting distance from a parkway or highway or within range of school bus stops, playgrounds (or) schools,” Feiner said, who is calling on elected officials to draft legislation regulating gun ranges.
Also, there are no required safety inspections of shooting ranges.
“Fortunately, the woman who was hit was not injured,” Feiner said. “But, if we aren’t proactive, it’s possible that someone could lose their life or be seriously injured in the future. New York State needs to regulate shooting ranges.”
“This should not only be considered a local matter,” Feiner said. “The Sprain Parkway is a major New York State roadway.”
The Town Board is planning a site inspection of the Ardsley shooting range in the near future. “I welcome the participation of appropriate state officials when the inspection takes place,” Feiner said.