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Concealed Handgun Permit Holders Kill 7 Police, 44 Private Citizens Over Two-Year Period

31 Incidents Result in Criminal Charges or Suicide of Concealed Handgun Permit Holder

Washington, DC--Concealed handgun permit holders killed at least seven police officers and 44 private citizens in 31 incidents during the period May 2007 through April 2009 according to a new study ( released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC). Five of the incidents were mass shootings resulting in the deaths of 23 victims. The release of the study comes as the U.S. Senate is expected to take up today--Monday, July 20--an amendment to the defense authorization bill (S. 1390) that would create a de facto national concealed carry system, overriding the rights of states with more restrictive laws governing the carrying of concealed handguns. The amendment is sponsored by Senator John Thune (R-SD). Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has said he will filibuster the amendment.

Because most state systems allowing the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private citizens release little data about crimes committed by permit holders, the VPC reviewed shooting incidents as reported by news outlets. It is likely that the actual number of fatal criminal incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders is far higher.

The study, Law Enforcement and Private Citizens Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders--An Analysis of News Reports, May 2007 to April 2009, finds that during the two-year period reviewed--

  • Concealed handgun permit holders have slain seven law enforcement officers resulting in criminal charges or the suicide of the shooter. All of the killings were committed with guns. An additional three law enforcement officers were injured in these incidents.

  • Concealed handgun permit holders have slain at least 44 private citizens resulting in criminal charges or the suicide of the shooter. All but one of the killings were committed with guns. An additional six private citizens were injured in these incidents.

  • In six of the 31 incidents (19 percent), the concealed handgun permit holder killed himself, bringing the total fatality count to 57.

VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “State concealed handgun systems are arming cop-killers and other murderers. It is beyond irrational for Congress to vote to expand the reach of these deadly laws.”

The study offers detailed descriptions of the 31 incidents, which occurred in 15 states. Law enforcement officers were killed in: Florida, Idaho, Ohio (two incidents), and Pennsylvania (two incidents). Private citizens were killed in: Alabama, Colorado, Florida (nine incidents), Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina (two incidents), Ohio (three incidents), Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah (two incidents), and Virginia.


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.

   For Release:
   Monday, July 20, 2009

   Mandy Wimmer
   Violence Policy Center
   (202) 822-8200 x110