For Release: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Non-Self Defense Deaths Involving Private Citizens Legally Allowed to Carry Concealed Handguns Hit 385–VPC Concealed Carry Killers October Update
Washington, DC–As the House Judiciary Committee today voted to approve a bill (H.R. 822) to nationalize the carrying of concealed handguns, Violence Policy Center (VPC) research shows that since May 2007 at least 385 people–including 11 law enforcement officers–have been killed in incidents not ruled self-defense involving private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns. Included in this number are numerous mass shootings–the most recent occurring in July at a child’s birthday party at a Texas roller rink–claiming the lives of 89 innocent victims.
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Congress is simply ignoring the mayhem created by lax concealed handgun laws. Since the last Senate vote on this lethal proposal in July 2009, concealed carry permit holders have killed at least another four law enforcement officers and committed at least another six mass shootings away from their homes. And these anecdotal incidents are only the tip of the iceberg since the gun lobby consistently blocks any attempt to collect comprehensive data on crimes committed by permit holders. Congress simply looks the other way and does the bidding of the gun industry while innocent victims–including children–pay with their lives.”
The bill (H.R. 822) would override the laws of almost every state by forcing each to recognize concealed handgun carry permits from every other state–even if permit holders would not be allowed to carry or even possess a handgun in the state they are visiting. The effect would be to force states with strict permitting standards to recognize permits issued by states with weak standards. In the real world, this would even allow people planning mass shootings to freely travel interstate while armed, with local law enforcement powerless to intervene until the shooting starts.
Since May 2007, the Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers on-line resource (http://concealedcarrykillers.org) has documented 275 incidents in 32 states. In nearly 80 percent of the incidents (217) the concealed carry killer has already been convicted (79), committed suicide (132), or was killed in the incident (six). Of the 54 cases still pending, the vast majority (44) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, three were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and seven incidents are still under investigation. Four incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder.
Because most state systems that allow the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private citizens release little data about crimes committed by them, the primary source for Concealed Carry Killers is published news reports. It is likely that the actual number of fatal incidents involving citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns is far higher.
A detailed summary of each of the 275 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.”