At the gun range
The Nassau County Rifle & Pistol Range is unique. Out of all the indoor firing ranges in Nassau County, it is the only one that the public is allowed to use. Although the majority of those who use the range are law enforcement officers from various agencies, someone who wants to use the range need only pay a fee. The fees range from $3.50-$22, depending on whether or not one is a resident of Nassau County and whether or not they have a leisure pass.
The range is located at 1 Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, less than a mile from Hofstra University’s campus. Although the presence of so many weapons so close to a college campus might raise some safety concerns, the range prides itself on creating an atmosphere where safety is the number one priority. The range stands as a bastion of what can be when firearms are used properly and legally, and treated with the respect that a lethal weapon deserves.
Plastered all over the range’s website are safety reminders, as well as a laundry list of rules and regulations. The first rule on the list is, in fact, “safety, any person who conducts him/herself in an unsafe manner…will be subject to expulsion.” The remaining rules range from age restrictions to handgun usage. The NY Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act, passed in 2013 after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, has also created new rules at the range that must be observed.
Range manager Scott Hare knows just how important it is to create a safe environment in the range. The range does not allow cell phone usage, nor do they allow pictures or videos to be taken. “No distractions…bad things can happen,” Hare said. Employees at the range make sure that shooters who need help get it, especially because New York State does not require any sort of training or licensing to own a firearm other than a handgun.
Curiously, given the range’s staunch commitment to safety precautions, the range itself does not provide general gun safety classes, only hunting safety classes where a hunting license may be earned. Instead, the range has NRA-certified instructors who provide their own classes.
Hare, 54, believes that the gun range is helpful to the public, because if a person owns a gun, they need to be able to use it well and know it inside and out. He says “[a gun] is a tool. Like any tool, if you don’t practice with it, you use it inefficiently or dangerously.”