The image above has been credited as being the firearm used in the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting on 6 January, 2017.  While the image is a little fuzzy, it appears to be a Walther PPS. You can see the distinctive trigger guard magazine release, the slot above the trigger guard and back of the rail for the serial number, the single finger groove and the shape of the extended magazine.  On the rear heal of the grip: a triangular smooth area that should have the Walther banner in it, and grip is slightly relieved and smooth in a triangular area just to the rear of the trigger.

Any help on identifying this particular variant from a fuzzy photo would be appreciated.  Some PPS pistols have the square hole behind the takedown slot, others do not.

The M2 version moved the mag release to behind the trigger guard. Walther PPS pistols have several magazines available. Six, seven, and eight round magazines are common in 9mm; five, six, and seven rounds in .40 S&W. The gun in the picture seems to have the seven or eight round magazine.

We do not know how many shots were fired at the airport yet. The pistol was unloaded and in a hard case and locked as required by airport security. The pistol seems to have been checked into checked baggage (not carried on the plane)  properly by TSA in Anchorage.  It seems a long way to go to shoot people in a baggage claim at an airport.

Baggage claim is not a sanitized area inside the secure zone, but Florida is one of a few states where baggage claim is a gun free zone where concealed carry by permit holders is not allowed.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included. Link to Gun Watch

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54 Responses to Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting Gun A Walther PPS?

  1. Are we finally going to shut-down air travel? Are the terrorists and crazies and terrorists finally going to win?

      • WHAT DID YOU MEAN, THE FAULT IS ALL FROM THE COMPANY WHO THEY BUILD THE GUN. NOT THINKING IN THE SAME WAY, GUN DONT KILL IF YOU DONT PULL THE TRIGGER, PEOPLES DO.

        • Guns don’t kill people (except in the thousands of accidents, perhaps). People kill people.. But, most do it with guns. Guns make it so much easier to kill people, especially from a safe distance, that the bar of provocation to shoot and kill someone when you are carrying a gun is FAR lower than that to knife, strangle, or bludgeon somebody, where you have to get up close and personal and risk your own injuries or death. Guns simplify and sanitize the killing, removing the killer to a distance from the victim. They only require a few pounds of pressure from one finger to take a life. A Glock 19 gen 3 9mm (my personal home protection weapon) only requires 5.5 pounds of pressure (it can be modified down to 3.5, but I do NOT recommend it) on the trigger with your index finger. A three-year-old can kill him or herself, a playmate, or a parent.

          Since my state, Florida, instituted concealed carry permits and “stand your ground” laws several years ago, gun deaths have increased 34%. I don’t think that is even close to a coincidence. Everything from road rage to arguing about a tree overhanging a property line becomes a potential murder.

  2. I just spoke with nancy pelosi…. she asked her sources and assures me that the gun pictured is a full assault ar-47 machine rifle with a 100 round per second clipozine. It also has an unregistered .50 caliber bullet button…. which is super illegal I’m told.

    • Richard – You need to get out of California ASAP for your own mental health. Asking Nancy Pelosi her opinion on ANTHING is indicative of a severe mental disturbance in itself. Run away!

      • A good drinking game would be watching the news tonight to see how many times they call it a GLOCK. Cheers!!

        • Guns don’t kill people (except in the thousands of accidents, perhaps). People kill people.. But, most do it with guns. Guns make it so much easier to kill people, especially from a safe distance, that the bar of provocation to shoot and kill someone when you are carrying a gun is FAR lower than that to knife, strangle, or bludgeon somebody, where you have to get up close and personal and risk your own injuries or death. Guns simplify and sanitize the killing, removing the killer to a distance from the victim. They only require a few pounds of pressure from one finger to take a life. A Glock 19 gen 3 9mm (my personal home protection weapon) only requires 5.5 pounds of pressure (it can be modified down to 3.5, but I do NOT recommend it) on the trigger with your index finger. A three-year-old can kill him or herself, a playmate, or a parent.

          Since my state, Florida, instituted concealed carry permits and “stand your ground” laws several years ago, gun deaths have increased 34%. I don’t think that is even close to a coincidence. Everything from road rage to arguing about a tree overhanging a property line becomes a potential murder.

        • Simply not true for concealed carry. There has been a slight increase in homicides after the passage of “Stand your Ground” but we do not know if they were justified homicides or not.

          You also have to be specific about “gun deaths”. Do you mean murders? Those have dropped with more guns in society over the last 20 years. Do you mean suicides? They have risen, but less than the rate of suicide in general. Do you mean accidents? They are at all time lows. In 2015, the number of fatal firearm accidents was 489, the lowest ever recorded, with records back to the 1930s. In 1932 the number was over 3200.

    • On a day when there wasn’t a whole lot to laugh about that just made me laugh out loud, no Shit, and for that I thank you very much!

    • Richard, a 5-year old has a better grasp of the subject of guns than Nancy Pelosi, If what you posted is in fact what she said she’s dumber than a rock.

        • The median IQ of Americans is 100. That puts half of all Americans into two-digit range. Sarcasm is a tad too sophisticated for most people. So is irony, like in the case of the newspaper columnist (in Idaho?) whose columns for many years have specialized on defending the Second Amendment and opposing even criminal checks and safety class requirements for gun owners. A few days ago, he was showing one of his semi-auto pistols to a friend and the friend’s 16-year-old promptly and accidentally shot the gun expert to death.

          Also, don’t forget that everybody you meet is going to be more expert in some field or fields than you are – even if they don’t know a S&W revolver from a CZ 75BD semi-auto with the decocker..

  3. I have a very early PPS (with S&W markings) and it does not have the little square hole behind the takedown tabs.

  4. Dunno’ about Walther. I just know it worked. Also the young ex-soldier had obvious Jihad BS on social media…

  5. Pretty sure it is the first gen pps, not the M2 as the M2 doesn’t have the paddle mag release and the bottom of the trigger guard is the same width all the way around.

    I carry the first gen 9 PPS.

  6. I find it odd that we all insist that the gun isn’t the important factor when someone gets murdered with one, that we should focus on the asshole who did the shooting, but then every time there’s a high-profile shooting TTAG has a post up within a few hours speculating on what kind of gun was used. Does it matter whether this lunatic used a Walther or a Glock? We can’t very well claim to not fetishize guns, then fixate grotesquely on exactly what kind of cleaning rod was on the AK that some terrorist shithead used to shoot up a crowd of people.

      • Complete disagree.

        The gun control groups and media fetishize guns. They are also material imprecise with the intention of confusing the public. Today, the NYTimes, the Washington Post, and three of the four major cable channels are using “gun issues” graphics that are “assault rifles” in their stories an editorializing on this.

        The point of knowing the firearm is knowing the facts. The fact that this is a average semi auto handgun, likely with a couple of with 7+1 mags perfectly legal in New York and California, means it is the type of gun owned by near half the US population.

        The fact that it looks to be 7 round mags is also very important

        It is precisely because it is a semi auto pistol that people can understand this is the most ubiquitous firearm in the US, open carried by 80% or more of cops, concealed carried by millions of law abiding Americans, and the large majority of home defense firearms of the half the country that has home defense firearms.

        • …average semi auto handgun, likely with a couple of with 7+1 mags perfectly legal in New York and California, means it is the type of gun owned by near half the US population.

          And there’s my point, and Stinkeye’s: that your description (average semi auto handgun, 7 round magazine) is all that’s necessary, and the obsession over details (finger grooves, mag release, serial# relief cut) is unseemly, unnecessary, and fetishistic.

        • Clearly, TTAG should’ve asked Matt in FL’s permission on what to write about so he wouldn’t have to impugn everyone’s motives.

          It must be a solemn burden being such a pompous ass and telling everybody what they should think about things and what they should and should not focus on when discussing a mass murder. But thankfully Matt in FL is on the case so we can all learn how to be a better people. Sheeesh! 🙄

        • I’m afraid you message to America is hopeless. The nation cares little about the details, or the pervasive presence of a particular firearm. All the nation wants to know is whether a gun was used (guns bad), if it was a high capacity gun (guns bad), if it was a scary black assault rifle (guns bad), it banning all guns everywhere would have prevented the attack (guns bad; no guns good). News outlets are not interested in educating the public, only providing enough words to get attention (that hopefully leads to more clicks, more sales, more street creds with other outlets). Putting weapons under the microscope serves no public purpose. If everything went completely your way, the details would appear once, just once, then the story goes back to guns bad.

      • OK, I’ll buy a card. Why is the specific make/model gun important to the “de-breifing”? What are we to learn from that detail?

    • Agreed. To Steve(CT)’s point, debriefing the incident needn’t go much further than “unmodified semi-automatic handgun” for the purposes of the story of what happened. Maybe “Walther 9mm” if you need that much detail. The exhaustive breakdown of every detail of the gun to try to identify it exactly, down the variant, is unnecessary and irrelevant. This process was well described in Stinkeye’s comment as “fetishizing,” and is usually practiced by those who want to attempt to duplicate, in exact detail, the actions or habits of someone else. As an example, think of any discussion you’ve ever seen about the build of an AR carried by an actual soldier. People want to figure it out, copy it, even down to the battle-scarred paint job, when they build their safe queen in suburbia, because they think it’s cool. They want to “be like that guy.” This post never needed to happen. The identification of the weapon deserved a one sentence mention as part of the larger story, nothing more.

    • Your comment might be arguable if there weren’t plenty of comments about the killer’s history and possible motivation, and the physical and legal environment in which he did his killing. But there are, so your implication that TTAG comments are focused and fixated (your words) on the gun are off-target, if you’ll pardon the expression. In fact, Stinkeye, I would speculate that it is you who are focused and fixated unhealthily.

      • I didn’t say that TTAG comments were fixated on the gun. I said this article was. In case you didn’t read it, the entire and sole point of the article was to find out precisely what variant of Walther PPS the shithead used. To what purpose, other than to satisfy morbid curiosity? That other articles exist exploring the other aspects of this horrible incident only furthers the claim that this article was completely unnecessary (and in my opinion, kind of gross).

        Scroll back through the older articles – after almost every high-profile shooting incident, TTAG has a post up within a day either detailing or speculating on what gun(s) were used. It seems a little creepy to me to be obsessing over every detail of the murder weapon before the bodies are even buried.

        • This is the TRUTH about guns. People come here to know the truth, and yes, fetishize guns. Most people never put their guns through even difficult stress tests, or are able to mag dump places, and always have a little curiosity if their gun “could do it” when push comes to shove, because it’s so abstract and rare they don’t fully believe in it.

          It’s natural that some here fetishize guns, because people fetishize everything. Plus, everyone wonders if their subcompact is more or less optimal for X activity, and they see this as a proof in concept of how deadly or easy to deploy/reload/use a subcompact in a way more appropriate to a full-size, or long gun.

          Finally, when the news media screws up on reporting what gun it is because it’s a relatively rare one and they don’t care about details, it gives us ever more ammunition to point out the bias of media as reason to discredit them and not compromise.

    • Its important because the graboids are going to start yelling about high capacity assault baby killer guns. During the news coverage the drones at ABC news (possibly others, but that’s the one I watched live) kept trying to steer the topic toward “what long gun is this killer using?” only to be constantly told by eye witnesses that it wasn’t a “long gun”.

      Its important because if this is indeed a Walther PPS (which it clearly is) it’s legal in tightly controlled ban states like CA and NY (because the magazine capacity is only 7rds with a regular 9mm mag, 8rds with the extended magazine).

      So even if they get the full capacity mag bans and “Assault” weapon bans they want, it wouldn’t have taken this particular model off “the streets”.

      • Oh boy.

        I am afraid none of this comment makes useful sense.

        First, “the public” doesn’t really know (or care?) which state has what magazine limit. Second, “the public” cannot make intelligent decisions based on details of a gun, down to the location of the magazine release.
        Third, “the media” will never re-focus “the public” on minutia, only on broad outlines (the “long gun” theme you mentioned is the example). Did any news outlet spend any time repetitively reminding the public that the shooter only used a handgun, with a limited bullet capacity? No; and they will not.
        Fourth, believing that gun details can convince the media, or public, that second amendment rights are valuable is delusional.
        Fifth, any firearm with a bullet capacity of one or more is bad for the public; that is the narrative. The news outlets could have simply stated that the shooter used a scary black gun, and “the public” would automatically understand that is is just crazy to allow anyone to have a gun, anywhere.

        Gun owners can do absolutely nothing to make guns appealing to the public, when the broadcast of information is controlled by leftists. Indeed, attempting to influence people about gun ownership by pointing out that this element, or that element, or the other element of a particular firearm is superior because this or that is a recipe for never being invited back. Get over it. “The public” is concerned with whether or not a particular shooting will cause them to change their daily choices, not whether size, shape, capacity, caliber is more or less useful or dangerous.

  7. Could it be a Styr M9? That the bottom of the grip looks very similar, as does the progressive girth the further forward.

  8. Mainstream media starts a cult of personality for the doers of these evil acts. They scrutinize every detail of there lives. Hardly any mention goes to the victims or the true heroes, those that try to stop these attacks. Id like to see sumary execution for active shooters and no discussion of who they were . LEt them be forgotten.

    As to the tools used in these crimes, i think it is important to know what is used and how the attacks played out. Obviously he reloaded, that was an opportunity missed to minimize the damage of this attack.

  9. A brief description of a weapon used in a murder is just accurate reporting. Detailing it down to the magazine release and comparing it to other models trivializes the incident and is unnecessary. It’s actually absurd.

  10. Did anybody else notice that in the picture where they tried to black out the sn they only blacked out the proofmarks and left the actual sn alone? HAHAHAA

    • Nope, perfectly legal. The airlines are more restrictive than the TSA in most cases, as they are the ones that have the “separation between cartridges” rules that eliminate loaded magazines as allowable. The TSA makes no such condition.

  11. I’m more interested in the ammo he used. We hear so much about how most gunshots are survivable with quick medical attention. I’m guessing hollowpoints. Five dead bodies is a lot of carnage for a little pistol. I mean, it wasn’t even a .45 ACP!

  12. Definitely a PPS M1 with the seven round magazine (has the finger extension). I know for sure because I have one. The one in the photo looks identical. Shooter is nuts but he had good taste in guns. I love mine, it has never malfunctioned not even once since the day I bought it brand new and it is very accurate. It’s my everyday concealed carry gun.

    • m4a1249, I agree with everything you said. One of the things that I really like about my PPS is that it is the most natural pointing handgun that I have ever held. As soon as I brought it home I disassembled it and cleaned it. And I had to admit that the apparent quality of the pistol just seemed head and shoulders above my Glocks. And, Walther still uses/applies the Tenifer treatment on their pistols, which Glock no longer uses.

  13. All the talk about what kind of pistol was used, while interesting perhaps, is ultimately immaterial. The attitude and beliefs of the murderer only are germane. In this case, the authorities seem to want to sweep under the rug a provable fact: this mass murderer, like so many others lately, was a devotee of the Koran. He used a Muslim name even before he did his military service, so his was not a recent conversion to the Mohammedan creed. We can “ban” Walthers and Glocks till the hills go flat, but it will not stop violence of this kind as Nice and more recently a mass murder in Israel make clear. Much more effective in preventing mayhem will be to wean people from Mohammed’s screed.

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