Why does Thresh count as a ranged champion?

Ok please expain me what ranged means and what melee means. Thresh doesn't throw his chain, it's in contact with his hand and he hits the enemy with it, shouldn't it be melee then? My logic says that even if you somehow have a sword 1 kilometer long, it still counts as melee as long as you hold it. And when you have for example a gun, and it's like 1 cm away from someone, and you shoot the someone, then you are ranged. So the question is: Why does Thresh count as a ranged champion?
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