'Machine gun'used in 101 California Shootings seen in Potrero Hill

Categories: Crime

Not quite the scene in Potrero, but close?
Alarm swept through The Snitch's world headquarters today, when we read a report in which San Francisco police warned of a suspect toting a "machine gun" in Potrero Hill.

A 29-year old man was robbed at gunpoint at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday on 23rd Street near SF General Hospital by a man toting a "silver" machine gun, according to police. The victim was told to hand over his wallet, keys and phone "or I wil pop you," the suspect said, according to police. This is troubling: the mere term "machine gun" conjures up images of neighborhood-destroying carnage.

The suspect had a Tec-9, according to police Sgt. Troy Dangerfield, who called the weapon an "automatic." Which may not be entirely accurate.

Don't get us wrong: the Tec-9 kills. It was the weapon of choice for one of the Columbine shooters, and was the weapon used to kill eight people here in San Francisco during the 101 California massacre in 1993.

A TEC-9. Maybe not "THE" TEC-9

Still, SFPD may have stretched a bit in referring to the Tec-9 as a "machine gun." The state of California refers to the gun as an "assualt weapon," but gun aficionados will tell you that the Tec-9 is small, hand-gun sized and not fully-automatic.

Numerous gun shop owners around the Bay Area declined to talk to SF Weekly about the Tec-9. But we managed to catch up with Nicki Stallard, a founder of an LGBT pro-gun group who broke it all down for us.

"The Tec-9 is a look-alike semi-automatic machine pistol," she said. "It can be made to be fully automatic, but it's hard to do. You need a machine shop for that."

Semi-automatic Tec-9s can be had on the street for $400-500, she estimated. "It's highly unlikely [the weapon used in Wednesday's assault] was automatic," she added. And if the suspect was caught with an automatic Tec-9, the offense would carry an automatic 10-year federal weapons charge. "I doubt someone would use an automatic weapon in a robbery," Stallard added.

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