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Where'd They Get Their Guns?

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

Date: July 1, 1993

Location: Pettit & Martin Law Offices, San Francisco, California

Alleged Shooter: Gian Luigi Ferri

People Killed: Nine (shooter committed suicide)

People Injured: Six

Firearm(s): Two Intratec TEC-DC9 assault pistols and a Colt .45 pistol


Ferri, a 55-year-old mortgage broker, entered the Pettit & Martin law offices in San Francisco and opened fire with two assault pistols and a .45 pistol. Moving through the office, he fired his assault pistols, which were loaded with a mix of Black Talon and standard ammunition. Ferri ended the lives of some of the wounded with Black Talon rounds from his Colt pistol. After expending 75 to 100 rounds, Ferri turned the gun on himself. Faced with financial problems, Ferri held a grudge against Pettit & Martin because the firm had represented him in a 1980s trailer-park deal that had gone bad.

How Firearm(s) Acquired

All three weapons were acquired from licensed dealers by illegal means. A California resident with a still-valid Nevada driver's license, Ferri traveled from California to Nevada to buy the TEC-DC9s. Because he lied about his residency, the guns were purchased illegally. Both of Ferri's TEC-DC9s were equipped with Hellfire trigger activators, a small spring device which mimics the speed of fully automatic fire.


  1. Karyn Hunt, "Gunman Had an Arsenal�and a Grudge," Associated Press, 2 July 1993.
  2. Robert B. Gunnison and Susan Sward, "Highrise Killer Used Mushrooming Bullets in Attack," The San Francisco Chronicle, 13 July 1993, sec. A, p. 17.
  3. Pam Lambert, et al., "Falling Down; A Middle-Aged Man With a Gun and a Grudge Goes Beserk," People, 19 July 1993, p. 30.

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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.