For Release: Monday, February 10, 2014
Washington, DC — As the trial of concealed carry permit holder Michael Dunn in the fatal shooting of teenager Jordan Davis gets underway, research shows this tragic incident is part of a nationwide trend. The Violence Policy Center (VPC) has found that individuals legally allowed to carry concealed handguns are responsible for at least 622 deaths since May 2007 — including the victims of 27 mass shootings and the killing of 14 law enforcement officers.
The VPC details these incidents in the latest update to Concealed Carry Killers, an online resource that offers examples of non-self defense killings by private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns in public. Because there is no comprehensive recordkeeping of deaths involving concealed handgun permit holders and many states in fact bar the release of such information, the examples on the Concealed Carry Killers website are taken primarily from news reports and most likely represent a fraction of actual events.
“Michael Dunn is on trial for killing a 17-year-old in a dispute over loud music, and this case is far from an isolated incident,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Just last month, a man with a concealed carry permit shot and killed someone who was texting in a movie theater. State policymakers are jeopardizing public safety with laws that allow virtually anyone to carry a concealed handgun, and innocent people are paying with their lives.”
Other recent, high-profile shootings perpetrated by concealed carry killers include the September 2013 shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, DC that left 12 innocent people dead. Another example occurred in July 2013 when a shooting at an apartment complex in Hialeah, Florida by a concealed handgun permit holder left six innocent victims dead.
Concealed Carry Killers documents 465 incidents in 33 states and the District of Columbia since May 2007, resulting in 622 deaths involving private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns. The incidents included 27 mass shootings that resulted in the deaths of 128 victims.
The graph below shows the status of incidents documented in the report:
In the vast majority of the incidents documented (390, or 84 percent), the concealed carry killer either committed suicide (189), has already been convicted (151), perpetrated a murder-suicide (38), or was killed in the incident (12).
Of the 60 cases still pending, the vast majority (50) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide. Four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and six incidents are still under investigation. An additional 15 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder.
The 465 incidents do not include any that were ruled as self-defense. Only 14 of the hundreds of examples tallied in Concealed Carry Killers were eventually deemed lawful self-defense. Such cases are then removed from the site’s ongoing totals.
A detailed summary of each of the 465 incidents is available at http://concealedcarrykillers.org. Clicking on each category leads to a state-by-state breakout for the incidents with current known status. To review all deaths involving concealed carry killers, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Carry Killers.”
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