Riding Shotgun With Charlie
Philly Gun Range
Gun people are the best people. I will say this often. On a trip to Philadelphia, I had a change of plans. Nayara Andrejczyk (RSWC #171) and her husband and I had dinner and we were talking over dinner about my “gift of time”. She suggested Yuri Zalzman as a potential guest. He was available to make the time and we filmed a show the next day.
Yuri was born in Ukraine and raised in Israel. His father brought them to Philadelphia and he’s been there ever since. He passed on college for a few years but ended up pursuing a history degree and it was much more work than he thought. It was more than memorizing dates. There was a lot of reading and analysis of cause and effects. He calls it the “study of man”. Law school was more work that taught him the ultimate lesson which is to be efficient.
As a youth, he loved machines. He learned to drive stick shift at six, a front loader and shooting at seven. He used to fly planes and drive tanks, too.
Yuri bought a shooting range in Philadelphia. He runs the range like the special forces; you don’t get hired, you get accepted. He trains the right people to be his employees. It’s not just the gun range policies and procedures, it’s how to handle a firearm and quickly. He treats his employees well. He wants all of his clients to be safe, of course, but also comfortable while they’re at the range. It’s important for his team members to realize that they’ve got the coolest retail job out there.
However buying a range comes with the old range reputation. Some of the previous range clients (gang members) needed to be chased away by Yuri and his staff. Sometimes a stern talking to. Sometimes with pepper spray.
Being a bit of an entrepreneur, he has been able to change that reputation. They’re focused on safety and customers. And welcoming everyone from whatever background into the range.
The area where I met Yuri is where he’s working on a new building expanding the range and the offerings. He’s got plans for 3 hot ranges (25, 50, & 100 meters), a 22,000 Sq ft retail space, a 3,000 Sq ft gym, an obstacle course, areas for simunition training, and a helicopter where people can repel down a rope.
Yuri has always been a dreamer and he works hard to make those dreams come true. Gun owners are doers and dreamers. They make things happen. And if you happen to be in Philadelphia, stop by The Gun Range and tell Yuri “hello”!
“Negative example and a positive example teaches equally important lessons.”
“My customers may leave a lot of money at the range, but they never feel like they’ve been taken advantage of.”
“I’m there to live out my passions, share them with the world, give back to society.”
“A person that has nothing only has their dignity. And when you insult their dignity, they’re going to fight to the death.”
Philly Gun Range Website
The Gun Range Instagram
The Gun Range Facebook
Second Amendment Foundation
Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms
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