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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

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

Date: October 30, 1985

Location: Springfield Mall, Springfield, Pennsylvania

Alleged Shooter: Sylvia Seegrist

People Killed: Three

People Injured: Seven

Firearm(s): .22 rifle


Seegrist, who had a history of mental problems, opened fire at a Springfield, Pennsylvania mall, killing three people and wounding seven.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

Seegrist purchased her rifle illegally at a catalog showroom. When she filled out the form to purchase her rifle, she indicated that she had never been committed to a mental institution. However, she had been committed to mental hospitals 12 times in the previous 10 years, disqualifying her from owning a firearm.


  1. Tim Darragh and David Herzog, "Laws Do Little to Keep Weapons From the Seriously Mentally Ill," The Morning Call, 28 June 1994, sec. A, p. 1.
  2. "Suspect in Mall Rampage Described as Violent, Unstable," Associated Press, 31 October 1985.

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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.