For Release: Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Illinois Concealed Carry Proponents Ignore Bloody Record of Police Deaths, Mass Shootings, and Attempted Political Assassination
Washington, DC–While Illinois concealed carry proponents promise that proposed legislation allowing the carrying of concealed handguns in the state will increase public safety and aid law enforcement, a new analysis from the Washington, DC-based Violence Policy Center shows that nearly 300 people–including 11 law enforcement officers–have been killed in shootings not ruled self-defense by private citizens legally allowed to carry handguns.
According to the March update to the Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers on-line resource (http://concealedcarrykillers.org), since May 2007 at least 297 people have been killed by private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns where the deaths have not been determined to be legitimate self defense. In all except one incident–Jared Loughner’s January mass shooting in Tucson (in Arizona legal gun owners can carry concealed handguns without a permit) that left six dead and 13 injured, including U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords–the killer had a permit to carry a concealed weapon. These killings include the deaths of 11 law enforcement officers–including two Virginia sheriff’s deputies who were slain on March 13 by a concealed handgun permit holder–and 18 mass shootings where private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns have taken, or have been charged with taking, the lives of 79 innocent victims. These numbers do not include any killings determined by authorities to be lawful self-defense.
Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Like every state before it, Illinois concealed carry proponents will promise that permit holders commit no crimes, prevent mass shootings, and aid law enforcement. These claims have been tested and are demonstrably false. Concealed carry permit holders don’t prevent mass shootings, they perpetrate them. Concealed carry permit holders don’t support police, they shoot them. Illinois legislators should reject the self-serving arguments peddled by concealed carry proponents and face the reality that concealed carry doesn’t increase public safety, it threatens it.”
The Violence Policy Center Concealed Carry Killers database documents 202 incidents in 29 states since May 2007. In more than two thirds of the incidents (145) the concealed carry killer has already been convicted (58), committed suicide (84), or was killed in the incident (three). Of the 57 cases still pending, the vast majority (46) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, two were deemed incompetent to stand trial, three incidents were unintentional shootings, and six incidents are still under investigation.
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 202 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 Violence Policy Center’s totals.
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