Guns in Manhattan: A Look Inside Manhattan’s Underground Shooting Range

When you think of Manhattan you probably think of touristy and unfavorable aspects of New York. Something else to add, you may not have guessed, is a place where gun lovers can practice their shooting skills. In the basement of a building off 5th Avenue is Westside Rifle & Pistol Range, a place where gun owners and those interested in shooting rifles can go and practice.

New York City is known for their strict gun laws and progressive population. Although it’s legal to purchase, own, and open carry long rifles, with the exception of assault rifles, to pursue owning and concealed carrying a handgun is a tedious process. With 78% of New York City voting Democrat in the 2016 presidential election and gun ownership being more common with Republicans, a majority of New Yorkers aren’t trying to buy handguns. Westside Rifle & Pistol Range becomes not just a place to practice shooting, but a social congregation for New Yorkers who might not fit into the liberal New Yorker mold.

The United States’ fixation on guns isn’t going away and the country is divided on the topic. With four out of ten adults living in a house with a gun and a majority of gun owners owning more than one gun, many non gun owners say they could see themselves getting one in the future. With 55,775 gun violence incidents in 2016 and over 60% of Americans having a positive view of gun owners, finding bipartisan solutions to reducing gun violence will take time.