Manhattan’s only public gun range lies below city streets

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NEW YORK –– On a busy West 20th Street off of Fifth Avenue, sits the Delzer building.

For years, office workers thought for sure the basement was used for some kind of machine shop.

"Our tenants upstairs would hear a little pinging sound through the pipes," Darren Leung said.

But, two flights down under the city streets and under those offices is actually the only gun range in Manhattan.

Westside Rifle and Pistol Range opened way back in 1965, and even as gun laws became tighter - the gun range lives on.

"The laws kept guns out of the hands that it should have," says Leung, who owns the shop. "So they system does in fact work, as bad as people think it is."

New York law actually states you cannot shoot or even hold a handgun without a permit.

Therefore, most of the clients that come in now are active or retired law enforcement.

The ones that come in appreciate that the range really has not changed much since its inception.

"People like that retro look," Leung said.

In fact, they still use the old pulley system to get the targets to and from the firing line.

The range has been home to the pop culture scene at times, including a famous scene in the movie "Taxi Driver," where Robert DeNiro practices his sharp shooting abilities. Other celebrity pictures that line the walls include "50 Cent" and Jerry Orbach.

The range is open to the public.

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