They are outsiders in a big city: New Yorkers who own guns. After last month's mass shooting in Florida, and after hearing at length from gun-safety advocates, NY1 is turning to gun owners for their thoughts.

But in a place with heavily restrictive firearm laws, finding them is not easy. We turned to the only gun range open to the public that is left in Manhattan.

 On West 20th Street in the Flatiron district — a trendy strip where you can get both a shot of espresso — and take another type of shot. This is the Westside Rifle and Pistol Range.

Liberal Manhattan it is not.

Members pack heat and talk firepower. All around are signs praising guns.

It's well below the sidewalk. That muffles gunshots. It's also perhaps a symbol of just how out of the New York mainstream its members are when it comes to gun regulations.

"Why don't you ban cars, they kill a lot of people," said owner Darren Leung. "Why don't you ban planes? They kill 200 people in a crack. You know?"

Leung calls his members minorities — for believing in keeping the government away from gun regulations.

"And because of that we have to stick together," he said.

His devotion to the Second Amendment is only one New York curiosity.

"Firearms was something you really didn't play with as an Asian-American kid," he said.

But for 18 years, this son of the Lower East Side has been packing a pistol and running a gun range and dealership that dates to 1965.

It's a place for target practice and ammunition advice, along with afternoon schmoozing amid the smell of coffee and gunpowder.

Not surprisingly, when it comes to national laws at least, we found little daylight between the views of Leung and the National Rifle Association.

"If I agree to one thing, where do you stop?" he supposed. "You're just going to be taking and taking and taking. What do I have left to give you?"

QUESTION: "How do you know we'll keep taking and taking and taking. I mean, has anyone ever said we should be taking hunting rifles away?"

"Well, they haven't yet," he said. "Yet."

Without much specificity, he says there should be stronger mental health laws, after the Valentine's Day massacre in Florida that killed 17 students and staff.

Of note, the NRA opposes so-called red flag laws to deprive the mentally ill from weapons.

Leung, like the NRA, also opposes banning the kind of device that allowed a shooter in Las Vegas to mow down 58 people last year.

"The bump stock is a novelty item," Leung said.

His customers are law enforcement officers or security guards needing practice.

Others are simple enthusiasts.

Jeff is one. He didn't want us to use his last name — but allowed us to watch him fire.

"When I go out there, everything else goes out of my mind," Jeff said. "I don't know what I could equate it to. I don't want to say meditating, 'cause it's not really quiet out there, but it's relaxing for me."

Typically getting a handgun license in New York City takes several months and up to a year. After providing documents and $430 in fees, applicants are scheduled for an interview with an NYPD investigating officer.

As a result, there are a limited number of pistol permits — a bit more than 41,000 according to the NYPD — with more than one third issued to retired law-enforcement officers.

Police couldn't break it out by borough or say how many applicants are rejected.

Statewide New York is also toward the bottom when it comes to gun ownership.

An average of 10.3% according to a recent study compared to 29.1% across the United States.

So where do guns used in crimes here come from?

Almost three-quarters recovered from in-state crimes come from out of state, especially pipelines from seven states with looser gun laws.

Lawmakers there have taken cues from the NRA, which has a curious history when it comes to New York City.

Improbable as it may seem, New York City is arguably the birthplace of the American gun rights movement began. The NRA was founded in Manhattan by Civil War veterans concerned that Union troops had lacked marksmanship.

Then, with the help of the State Legislature, the NRA built a major outdoor rifle range here in Eastern Queens. It's now the site of the Creedmor Psychiatric Center."

"New York City was the birthplace of the NRA," said John Jay College of Criminal Justice Professor Robert McCrie. "And now New York City is the enemy of the NRA."

McCrie traces that to a gruesome daytime murder-suicide in 1911 near Gramercy Park.

Outrage prompted the state to enact a pioneering law, the Sullivan Act. It requires police-issued licenses for handguns.

Responding to crimes, the city has since repeatedly tightened its laws, without much pushback from New Yorkers.

"These laws have kept untold thousands of New Yorkers and our visitors alive," McCrie said.

Still, gun culture never left the city.

There were gun ranges. Public high schools even had rifle clubs — here's a 1929 picture from the now closed Far Rockaway High School.

Then, McCrie says, came the tumult of the 1960s

"There was an effort to deglamorize guns," the professor said.

Changing culture and climbing rents led gun ranges to close.

But not entirely.

Back at Westside, Leung chafes at city rules — and balks at more national restrictions.

But he's making a living.

That begs a few thoughts. Perhaps it will take both stricter gun laws — and changing culture — to bring down the number of weapons.

And if New York's laws became the national model.

Would gun life really disappear? And would Americans everywhere be safer?