Philadelphia Police Don’t Know the Difference Between an “Assault Rifle” and an “Assault Pistol”

“Philadelphia police have released surveillance video of a man shooting up a strip club with an assault rifle,” reports. Only no, no they haven’t. That would be an AK pistol. And if you thought firearms terminology is a slippery customer, check out 21-year-old Henry Pettigrew’s fancy footwork as he is seen “firing wildly” (they got that bit right) inside the Purple Orchid Gentleman’s Club. Yup, the Philly po-po have ID’ed the shooter. And how. “Henry Pettigrew is described as a black male standing 5’11” tall, weighing 180 pounds. He also has a thin beard. Pettigrew’s last known address is in the 5500 block of Belmar Terrace.” No word yet whether the Philadelphia police have officially ditched their .40’s for .45’s to up their stopping power (in theory). FYI.


  1. avatar jwm says:

    I’ve been in those gentleman’s clubs. Have yet to see a gentleman in there.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      I’ve yet to see a lady in there.

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Don’t give up. Keep on looking. However, if the guys are holding hands with each other, well, you’re in the wrong kind of club, so looking won’t help. I think technically gentleman’s clubs don’t have ladies, but rather “some fiiiine ladies.” That’s a different social class, certainly. But what does anyone want who goes there, tedious talk about the difficulty keeping good help? Watercolor lessons?

  2. avatar Brian S says:

    I assume this law abiding citizen has all the necessary tax stamps for that weapon yes?

    1. avatar Mmmtacos says:

      Tax stamp? For an AK pistol? Not necessary, sir. Now if he put a forward vertical grip on it or somehow fixed a stock to it that’d be a no no.

      1. avatar Brian S says:

        silly me, I assumed not having a stock on a rifle would be NFA territory for the same reasons SBRs are

        1. avatar Totenglocke says:

          If it comes from the factory without a stock then the ATF deems it a pistol. Same goes for why factory made Mares Leg’s are pistols and not SBR’s.

        2. avatar Logic says:

          Nope. The ATF only recognizes rifles by the existence of a stock. SBR or not depends on the barrel length and the overall length.

          They don’t consider caliber, cartridge, operating mechanism or anything else. That’s why a stock on a Glock = SBR. No stock on an AK = pistol.

    2. avatar Ropingdown says:

      To be legal it must also have a pistol bolt carrier, many manufacturers believe.

      1. avatar Ringo says:

        What? Who believes this?

      2. avatar Logic says:

        Source citation requested.

        I’ve never heard this and would like to know who is spreading such incorrect information on the subject.

      3. avatar Ropingdown says:

        Noveske, as one example, makes a point of it.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    Philly 5-0 also does not know the difference between the 4th Amendment and the 23rd Psalm. Only the LAPD is worse. BTW, the LAPD was just released from Federal oversight (due to excessive force, natch). But — miracle of miracles — LA’s been totally reformed! Now it shoots everybody without regard to race, color, religion, creed, national origin or make and model of vehicle.

    We can all breathe a little easier now.

    1. avatar Roscoe says:

      So I guess the 23 white folk who are left in LA are now at risk from the LAPD, too.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        When the LAPD runs out of “ordinary” citizens to shoot, it will start shooting their own.

        Oh, wait . . . .

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          He wasn’t ‘one of their own.’ He refused to play ball, had a problem with the way things are. Of course he also had a problem with the way everything else is, apparently.

        2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

          Dammit man. Another clean up here!

  4. avatar Ryan says:

    If Obama had a son he would look like Henry Pettigrew…

    1. avatar DonS says:

      Why does “Pettigrew” make me think of a rat? Probably watching too many movies with my kids.

      1. avatar Ing says:


        1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

          That’s the grabbers’ mantra.

  5. avatar Big C says:

    Do they make full length AK pistols? looks like it could be an underfolder with the stock taken off. The Philly PD may have their share of problems, but this seems like arguing over semantics. As we always say: Changing the cosmetic features doesn’t change to function of the gun.

    On another note, the perp could probably make it big in Hollywood on the action-comedy reel #slipperywhenwet.

    1. avatar Shawn says:

      I gotta agree with Big C. That looks like an AK with a folded stock or no stock. Pause it and look. From the trigger to the muzzle looks to be about 16″ long which would make it a rifle.

    2. avatar Jeff says:

      Correct. If you look closely, you can see that it has separate gas block and front sight block, and the barrel is about 16″ in length. Just about all commercially available AK pistols in the US (e.g. Draco, IO Hellpup, Yugo M92) all have combo gas blocks/sight blocks. Unless this guy has a one-off parts kit pistol build, it looks like a standard AK with a folded stock or no stock at all.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Which means, if you are correct, that it’s not the Philly cops that have trouble ID’ing the gun being used.

    3. avatar mountocean says:

      I was going to complain about the semantics and maybe whine about AK pistols being called pistols in the first place, but if you’re right, Big C, I would appreciate the irony (that jwm so kindly pointed out).

  6. avatar dwb says:

    po-ta-to, po-tah-to

    The philly police are about as likely to identify a firearm from a grainy surveillance video as they are to identify the actual suspect. or the car, which is a light colored sedan “possibly a Hyundai or Mitsubishi.” Thanks for narrowing that down.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      If this happened in Los Angeles, you wouldn’t want to be seen by the police driving around in a light colored Mitsubishi or Hyundai. Or a dark colored ’92 Suburban. Or delivering newspapers on foot.

      1. avatar Ropingdown says:

        And if this was Philadelphia under Frank Rizzo, with Chuck Peruto defending the FOP’s shooters, you just wouldn’t want to be seen by the police period, if you had a certain look and were under 30 years of age. In Philly it’s a ceaseless tug of war between the hardened criminals and well, the other ones.

  7. avatar DaveL says:

    What did he do, butter the soles of his shoes?

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      He over-lubed.

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Oh geez. I about tipped over in the office watching those low top sneakers, pedal pusher jeans, (yes, I know what pedal pushers are, FU), the face plant in the parking lot, the the slip ‘n slide in the hallway.
        That’s gonna draw some guffaws from the jury…

    2. avatar JMS says:

      I’m glad I watched the video. Wasn’t going to, but then seeing him fall on his ass twice was pretty awesome. Then having trouble opening the door, stepping like 1/2 a step into the place and just popping off a couple totally random shots before taking off. The dude was jittery and rushing things to the absolute max.

      Anyway… brought a touch of levity to the situation.

  8. avatar Sammy says:

    Philly’s Men in Blue should be glad Mr. Pettigrew didn’t have the full auto M 16 they seem to have mislaid.

  9. avatar jkp says:

    Hey, Pittsburgh may have its troubles, but it’s not Philly. Don’t confuse the two.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Juliano’s much?

      1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        As my dad named it, “Filth a delphia”

        1. avatar Ropingdown says:

          Philadelphia’s a fine and safe city with thriving financial and health industries. A person simply has to know that the fine safe part runs west to east and about seven blocks wide, not north to south. One way you pass through an area with, typically, no shootings in a year. The other way? It’s a different world. A late friend, a Navy commander, once told me he walked from the (then) Navy Yard to City Hall, and the city was horrible. No one with the least information would take that route.

  10. avatar JLR says:

    Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are about 300 miles apart.

  11. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Well… most pistols are rifled. 😉

  12. avatar glockatron says:

    LOL to the windows boop-beep I almost started fraging my hard drive

  13. avatar crashbbear says:

    Don’t let Feinstein & Co. find out about T/C or we’ll be hearing about “assault sniper muskets”.

    On a side note, is it just me, or when I hear people correcting the grabbers on their nomenclature, isn’t it gonna give them more stuff to work with? “Grandpa’s ole bolt action 30-06 does more damage than a .223!” “Semi auto’s aren’t assault weapons! Besides, they’re way more controllable than a machine gun.” But then again we’re all gun nuts who spout lies to protect our guns which we love more than our kids, so they’d never believe it anyway.

  14. avatar 01 ZX3 says:

    Looks like a 3G Taurus to me.

  15. avatar APBTFan says:

    I quit going to those places when they started putting ATM’s in them. My alcohol-fueled visions of boobies would wipe out a Friday paycheck in a hurry. Used to be I could pull $40 or $60 from a bank ATM, go see boobies and be fine but nooooooo they had to ruin it for me.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      ^^^^^^ this^^^^^^^

  16. avatar TheSleeperHasAwakened says:

    It actually looks like a AK-47 rifle with an underfolding stock.

    The barrel looks too long to be an AK pistol.

  17. avatar My Name Is Bob says:

    This just in: Philly cops also don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground.

  18. avatar Kevin says:

    Definitely not a pistol. RF needs to back off and think these through, or he’s going to damage this site’s reputation. The Truth About Guns, not Rapid Misidentification Of Guns In A Manner Worthy of ABC

  19. avatar Saul Feldstein says:

    Whether a DRACO or underfolder AK the strippers on the discharge side of it are never gonna forget that sound. In a weird way maybe this incident turned some lives around.

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