Lease to be terminated for Greenburgh shooting range after bullet-fragment incident

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Marcus Solis reports from Greenburgh. (WABC)

A gun battle appears to be winding down in Westchester County, after the landlord for a shooting range that some wanted closed has opted to terminate the range's lease.

In a letter from Paul Feiner, the Greenburgh town supervisor, the vice president of Con Ed told him that Con Ed plans to end the lease with a gun range on Ardsley Road, effective in 30 days.

"An indoor gun range will open up late this summer or in early fall in a commercial area in the Elmsford section of Greenburgh," his letter said.

In June, a woman in the Arsley Chase Complex was grazed by a dime-sized bullet fragment, prompting calls to shut down the Westchester County Police Revolver and Rifle League, an outdoor shooting range in existence since 1941.

Robert Berkowitz, an attorney for Greenburg shooting range, issued a statement saying he was surprised that ConEd ended the lease, which the business has had since 1957.

"This is truly a travesty. If this was a public safety issue, it is one that could have been easily resolved," the statement read. "However, it appears that this issue was completely politicized by Bob Bernstein and Greenburg Town Supervisor Paul Feiner ... If the range was such a danger in the first place, you have to ask yourself how this range got zoned in the first place."

Residents held a meeting Tuesday to discuss the issue, but it got so raucous that town lawmakers had to adjourn the meeting - without a decision. "This is really nothing more than a rush to judgement," one attendee said.

Dozens packed Greenburgh Town Hall Tuesday as the board considers legislation that would essentially force the range out of business by imposing new safety measures and noise restrictions.

"You can't have legislation that makes a legal activity illegal just because you don't like the activity," said Robert Berkowitz, an attorney for the range.

Members insist the range is safe. Besides a 10-foot dirt berm to absorb the ammunition, there's a 30-foot stone wall behind it.

How the fragment made it into the neighborhood remains a mystery. Range officials say steel plates prevent shooters from firing upward, and they say foam insulation and new port doors were recently installed to deaden sound.

The range had voluntarily suspended operations.
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