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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

An Analysis of the Firearms Used in High-Profile Shootings, 1963 to 2001

Date: September 5, 1975

Location: The Senator Hotel, Sacramento, California

Alleged Shooter: Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme

People Killed: None

People Injured: None

Firearm(s): Colt .45 pistol


Fromme, a member of the Manson Family, attempted to assassinate President Gerald Ford outside a Sacramento Hotel. Apparently unfamiliar with how to use the pistol, she had not chambered a round from the magazine. Thus, the gun did not fire when she pointed it at President Ford, and Fromme was captured immediately.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

The pistol was legal. Fromme borrowed it from a friend in July 1975. Though she was known to be a member of the Manson Family, and Sacramento police had been warned of her presence by her landlord, Fromme was not under surveillance or on any Secret Service list.


  1. Tom Matthews, et al., "Ford's Brush with Death," Newsweek, 15 September 1975, p. 16.

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 All contents � 2001 Violence Policy Center


The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.