Pioneer Shooting Center Mount Vernon, NY
Courtesy Rob Pincus
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Hundreds of thousands of first-time gun owners have bought firearms since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March. Gun stores around the country have been inundated with people who have decided that, given the uncertainty of a national emergency, having the means to defend yourself and your family makes a lot of sense.

One of those businesses that found itself serving scores of people new to gun ownership is the Pioneer Shooting Center in Mount Vernon, New York. The store and range are owned by Michael and Denine Timlin and family matriarch Rita Timlin. Being so close to New York City, they found themselves selling guns to a lot of people who had never fired a gun before and were clamoring for basic safety and training information.

While the state’s shutdown order kept them closed, the store continued to sell guns online. They also delivered guns to those who had ordered them before the shutdown order.

Pioneer manager Cesar Pinero gave Facetime and Zoom lessons to customers. He taught first-timers the basics of firearms safety, how to store and handle their gun and give them tips on basic use. The virtual training wasn’t ideal, but it was better than nothing.

Then New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that businesses like Pioneer’s indoor range could open starting May 15. The Timlins and Pinero made plans to serve their customers in the safest manner possible, both on the range and in the retail area. Customers are seen by appointment only. Strict social distancing is observed with masks, hand sanitizer and gloves available for everyone.

But then Cuomo changed his mind. Repeatedly. May 15 was pushed to the middle of June. Then back to May 30. With all the uncertainty, though, the demand for basic firearms training was huge. Pioneer had been getting calls from people as far away as Albany — almost 150 miles — because so many ranges around the state have been forced to close permanently due to the shutdown’s devastating financial effects.

Pioneer — which owns its own facility — made the decision to move ahead and open as of yesterday. They brought in Rob Pincus of I.C.E. Training and scheduled training sessions to meet the demands of their customers.

The primary goal was making sure that the first-time gun buyers they’d been seeing had access to basic, professional safety and proficiency training.

Pioneer Shooting Center Mount Vernon, NY
Courtesy Rob Pincus

Pincus and Pinero made a lot of changes to accommodate the new safety procedures. As Pincus told us, that meant . . .

…reduced class size, reduced duration, shorter lectures, mandatory masks, hand sanitizer during each reload break and coming/going from range. I wear gloves and change the set anytime I touch a student or their gear.

Pioneer Shooting Center Mount Vernon, NY
Courtesy Rob Pincus

Pinero and Pioneer took every possible precaution for the first classes yesterday.

We have a physician who has been directly involved in the coronavirus response here and he was consulted ahead of time on the protocols and gave a thumbs up (he’s also taking the class).

Again, technically, the range wasn’t cleared to be open yet. The store is still only open to deliver firearms that buyers had ordered before the shutdown or online. And then only by appointment. They’re still not serving walk-in customers. But as Pincus said,

These two sessions were definitely legitimate training courses, but they were also experiments and political protests at the same.

Pioneer Shooting Center Mount Vernon, NY
Courtesy Rob Pincus

Pincus and Pioneer’s management intend to share the protocols they with other ranges as best practices to follow as they open.


Mark Walters interviewed Pincus on his Armed American Radio show about the training sessions yesterday.


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    • Good video. Shows people exercising the Constitutional Right in a safe and responsible manner.

      Plus, the young lady on the right makes those skinny jeans work!

    • Pincus, you are a self aggrandizing stooge who will do anything to promote your own Superhero, YOU.

      You and Larry Vickers are the same kind of second class garbage. I have NO respect for you or your second class training methods.

      People would be better served traveling to Thunder Ranch or Gunsite or ANYWHERE else rather than pay you for something second class.

      BTW, wearing masks and ‘social distancing’ are just CDC/WHO ineffective ‘do something’ crap.

      • Insults do not constitute criticism. Criticism has details and suggests alternatives or improvements.

        If you actually cared about what Rob Pincus does — if you actually thought he was doing something wrong — you would provide real criticism, not insults. Insults are the mark of envy, jealousy, and a weak mind.

        • Unfortunately, that’s so true about insults shows envy and anger….
          But its obvious SOMETHING happened to piss this guy off at Pincus… lol
          He just isn’t very good at giving the reasons for his anger….

      • Ya know Thix…. If you keep that up Rob is going to scratch you off of his Christmas card list!

    • The government – in particular the govt’s of NY, NJ, etc. know they don’t want people to be armed at all, let alone trained. Armed and proficient gun owners are a threat to their power.

      • “Threat to their power” in what way?
        They know Americans won’t do a dam thing…..hell, look at what they’re doing to the economy….. all while the sheep obey and attack you when you call BS on their racket…..
        Im not sure just how low Americans will go blindly…. look at the past 30-40 years in this country and how it has changed for the worst in ever aspect…
        A people who will allow their children to be read to by trannies is a people in moral decline….
        It doesn’t take a genius to see the fault in that, yet people attack when you call BS….


  1. Of all the businesses that Pandemic Counter-Measures could easily be established and enforced. Gun Ranges, Outdoor and Indoor, are in the Top Five. Space between booths already existed pre-pandemic, and user safety is rigidly enforced. Shutting them down was irrational and irresponsible on the part of whatever government made their arbitrary and capricious Pandemic Panic rules.

    • In addition to this: “Space between booths already existed pre-pandemic, and user safety is rigidly enforced.”, every indoor range that I’ve been in has high flow positive air ventilation. The air flows from behind the shooters in the firing lanes downrange towards the backstop and passes through a high-efficiency multi-stage filtration system. This means no one on the range is “downwind” from anyone else- that’s the ideal situation to be in to avoid airborne transmission of, well… everything. Sounds like indoor ranges should be considered right up there with hospital isolation wards. Might be a good idea to get yourself down to a range ASAP for your own protection.

      See what I did there?

  2. I’ve seen one other indoor range with a dirt backstop. (I assume that it is dirt, maybe not) A bobcat is brought in and dirt is dumped into a giant sifter outside. Is this a common configuration in NY or other places?

    • Might be a requirement (local? EPA?) to keep indoor levels of lead down to certain thresholds. The range I frequent is an expansive outdoor layout. Plus, I also go out to the open desert as well, so I’m not familiar with indoor ranges.

      • I belong to a private outdoor range that is about a 20 minute drive…but in the winter (any temp below 60deg) I’ll head to one of the indoor ranges

  3. Again the Governor has shown by his actions and words his disregard for citizens and their 2A rights, He has a history of not wanting or liking any business that deals with firearms or its accessories. Talk to DeSantis Leather about how they feel being located in New York. They would move to another state if they could. What is wrong for individuals to learn how to safely shoot and handle a newly purchased firearm? This is amazing considering mayors and governors are releasing convicted criminals onto the streets. What do you think some of them are going to do? So sad.

    • So what is the problem with DeSantis? Are they being held hostage? Are they slaves of Mario the Great? Can’t find a truck to move the sewing machines? Enquiring minds want to know.

  4. Maybe my eyeballs are off, but those people in the pics kinda look like they’re at least 6 feet away from each other, so…

  5. I’m very serious when I say I hope that white business men and women, are willing to go to jail to defend their civil rights. Just as black people had to 60 years ago.

    Because that is exactly what this battle is going to require.
    The 2A has nothing to do with hunting. You’re going to need lawyers qualified in 2A civil rights law.

    A self defense fund will be something a gun store owner will need in a anti-civil rights blue state. Perhaps even in a red state as well.

    • That is a perfect example of why voting matters. In Iowa We the People voted citizens to represent us in Our Legislature and Governor’s office. Who understood Our 2A Rights. While not perfect yet. We do have Stand Your Ground where you are legal to carry. Castle Doctrine and Preemption Laws. laws against closing ranges both state and private owned. laws against closing hunting and fishing seasons. We still have issues to deal with but, We’re a Hell of a lot better off than any Blue state. Keep Your Powder Dry and Your Aim True. At the Range and in Life.

  6. It’s democRats with a Gun Control agenda that prompts protest. Tyrants think they can stick their behinds in the face of the public and the public will bow down and kiss butt. Not Happening. If America and The United States Constitution are to survive democRats and their racist and nazi based Gun Control Agenda must be stopped.
    Should you and yours ever be cornered by a criminal pompous Gun Control Zealots will be where they always are during a crisis…NOWHERE.

  7. Well the indoor ranges are open for business in INDIANA! Taking my bride shooting at Point Blank next week. Merrillville,IN. NO special requirements. The Chinaflu is serious. My brother-in-law DIED today of complication’a from Covid19. Vietnam vet. 72 years old. Good guy!

    • Condolences and a slow salute to your brother in law. Rest in Peace Soldier, you are relieved of your post.

    • Sorry for the loss of your brother-in-law. Anyone who served in the armed forces, in my book are heroes.
      RIP brother.

      • Thanks Geoff…my wife is OK. What’s really annoying is not being able to see Chinaflu victim’s in a hospital! Sadly my wife’s eldest brother(also a Vietnam vet) died about 6 month’s ago and her evil sister-in-law told no one until after he passed. Hope you’re holding up!

  8. Some indoor ranges have been open here in Florida the entire time.
    Nexxus in Davy for one
    The outdoor range in Okeechobee has been open as well
    Governor Dessmtis has done a great job here.
    He should be the Repiblican candidate in 2024!

  9. If anyone actually believes that residents of NYC where I once lived, who have managed to hop through all the obstacles in the way of being able to legally obtain a handgun are likely to go hog wild with their pistol or revolver, it strikes me that the holders of such opinions are badly in need of physiological counseling, putting it politely..

  10. I used to live in Westchester County. Once the SAFE Act passed I decided, after consulting a lawyer or two, to build a NY legal AR 15.

    It was pretty unheard of at that time. No gun shop in the area would sell me a stripped lower.

    Except these guys.

    True believers in the 2A.

    • I know several people who either bought or built AR’s after the SAFE Act passed. That law had the exact opposite effect they’d hoped for and did nothing but increase AR-15 sales in New York.

  11. The world is to small, or there are to many rabbits in a cage., Somebody’s shouldten in the water bowl or fckn on the pellets

  12. Should we start the gofundme site now to defend these patriots against FUAC when he sends the gestapo to close them down?

  13. Kudos to Pioneer for conducting business in accordance with today’s protocols in spite of their draconian Governor and his anti-Constitution diktats.

    Enjoyed viewing the first photo with shooters in the Isosceles, Modified Weaver and the old FBI Crouch stances…do what works for you.

    I concur with the earlier comment regarding the lady sporting the jeans in the video…!


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