For Release: Friday, February 11, 2011
Washington, DC–The attack last month in Tucson that left six dead and 13 injured, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), is the most recent mass shooting allegedly committed by a private citizen legally carrying a concealed handgun according to the February update to the Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers on-line resource. Concealed Carry Killers tallies reports of killings by private citizens legally carrying concealed handguns that have not been determined to be legitimate self defense. Under Arizona law, which as of July 29, 2010, allows citizens 21 years of age and older to carry concealed handguns without a permit, alleged shooter Jared Loughner was obeying the state’s concealed weapons law until he reportedly pulled his Glock pistol to shoot Representative Giffords.
Since May 2007, there have been 18 mass shootings where legal concealed handgun holders have taken, or have been charged with taking, the lives of 79 victims. Since May 2007, legal concealed handgun carriers have killed at least 288 individuals–including nine law enforcement officers–in 194 incidents in 29 states. In more than two thirds of the incidents (135) the concealed carry killer has already been convicted, committed suicide, or was killed in the incident. Of the 59 cases still pending, the vast majority (49) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, two were deemed incompetent to stand trial, two incidents were unintentional shootings, and six incidents are still under investigation.
Commenting on the most recent additions to the Concealed Carry Killers toll, Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Arizona’s law allowing its citizens to carry concealed handguns without a permit has already cost too many lives and threatens the safety of law enforcement on a daily basis.”
A summary of each of the 194 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 by concealed carry killers, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Carry Killers.” While the incident summaries of the few concealed carry killers who were found not guilty or were eventually not charged are listed on the site, those numbers are not included in the VPC’s totals.
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.
For non-fatal concealed carry incidents follow the VPC on Twitter — http://twitter.com/VPCinfo — and visit the Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/#!/pages/Violence-Policy-Center-Concealed-Carry-Killers/258069527568