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New York gun range in business for 73 years forced to close

A New York gun range has been forced to close its doors after more than 70 years in business, following a bitter dispute with its neighbors over noise and safety issues.

The Westchester Police Revolver and Rifle League, in Greenburgh, a nonprofit open-air range dating to the 1940s, was targeted by neighbors who wanted the facility closed, CBS New York reported.

The fight between the range, which is nestled into an old rock quarry, and local residents moved from the neighborhood to town hall last week, when both sides had their say on the matter.

"Con Ed has made purely a political decision.”

- Westchester Police Revolver and Rifle League attorney

Those opposed, the station reported, got their wish when Con Edison, which owns the land used by the shooting range, said it is terminating the nonprofit’s lease. The land, according to WCBS 880 radio, sits in an old quarry and was once relatively isolated, but new homes sit a few hundred feet away on the other side of a 30-foot tall sheer rock wall.

An attorney for the range said the decision was politically motivated.

“The range has a 73-year record of safety. If this truly was a public safety issue, it’s one we could have easily resolved. Con Ed has made purely a political decision,” the attorney said, according to CBS.

The push to close the range gained new momentum after a woman was grazed by a metal fragment while walking in her backyard last month.

The owners of the range say the steep angle of the old quarry and the position of the shooting stations make it impossible for bullets to reach homes. Ballistics testing is under way to see whether the fragment is from a bullet, CBS reported.

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