When we talked to Cesar Pinero, manager of the Pioneer Shooting Center in Mount Vernon, New York about his facility reopening last week, he mentioned the effort to keep the last gun range in Manhattan afloat. The Westside Rifle & Pistol Range on West 20th Street is the only public range that remains in the borough. It’s still alive and kicking after more than half a century, but just barely.
Like so many businesses in the city, the coronavirus shutdown has hit Westside hard. Manhattan rents aren’t cheap and with zero revenue coming in for a couple of months now, the range is facing an existential crisis with no immediate end in sight. New York City’s hapless, hoplophobic mayor has said that any kind of reopening for the city is still “months away.”
To help Westside stay in business until they can open their doors again, a GoFundMe account has been set up to help the range meet expenses.
From the GoFundMe page:
Having served the New York metropolitan area since 1964, Westside has evolved into a full service shooting range that caters to a variety of shooters. Our members include hobbyists, hunters, and members of the law enforcement community.
We have weathered the constant attack on our 2nd Amendment rights providing New Yorkers with a safe and friendly environment. Westside has always been an oasis for firearms enthusiasts in NYC.
Our shooting community has always been at the heart of our existence. The friendships that have been created, conversations shared, New Yorkers being New Yorkers.
Over the past 56 years we have survived hurricanes, blackouts and of course 9/11. Never have I thought that we would be beaten, that our doors would never open again.
Funds needed are immediate, our lease demands monthly rent payments that we are hard pressed to produce.
This is really basic, If rent isn’t dealt with, our NYC shooting community might not recover. I know West Side won’t be able to.
The Westside Rifle & Pistol Range needs to survive the pandemic economic apocalypse if for no other reason to disappoint the Mayor, City Council and the majority of Manhattan’s population that is probably disgusted by the mere existence of a place in the borough where those who have navigated the hurdles to legal gun ownership can shoot, learn and train.
Please consider supporting Westside and let other people of the gun who you think might be interested know about the effort to keep them in business.
Read our post by Brett Solomon documenting his experience with the Project Appleseed training course he took at Westside back in 2011.