Along Madison Avenue in Manhattan, well-heeled New Yorkers shop in luxury stores with famous names, buying their shoes at Manolo Blahnik, their diamonds at De Beers, and their guns at the Beretta Gallery.
Many Americans would be surprised to learn that there are gun stores in New York City, which has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. There aren’t many. There used to be three, but one of them closed last year. Now there is only the Beretta Gallery and the Westside Pistol & Rifle Range, both in Manhattan.
Beretta is an Italian gun manufacturer, established about 500 years ago by the same family that’s running it now, 15 generations later. The company’s American arm, called Beretta USA, produces firearms at a factory in Tennessee.
The Beretta Gallery opened in 1995 in a five-story brownstone, a vertical slice of real estate with a stoop. The shop window looks more like a clothing shop than a gun store, but it’s both. The first floor is stocked with English-style merchandise including tweed jackets, hip flasks and dog-headed walking sticks befitting a country gentleman. The second floor is stocked with camouflage hunting merchandise and shooting accessories including sights, goggles and ear protection.