Chicago Mercy Hospital Attack is 33rd Mass Shooting by a Concealed Handgun Permit Holder

For Release: Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Slain Chicago Police Officer is 22nd Law Enforcement Officer Killed by a Concealed Handgun Permit Holder

Washington, DC — Monday’s attack at Mercy Hospital & Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois—which left three victims dead, including a law enforcement officer—is the most recent mass shooting perpetrated by a concealed handgun permit holder (according to police sources cited by the Chicago Tribune, the shooter had a concealed handgun permit). Including this most recent shooting, since 2007, at least 33 mass shootings (three or more fatalities) have been committed by concealed handgun permit holders across the nation and at least 22 law enforcement officers have been killed by concealed handgun permit holders.

For a detailed list of prior lethal mass shootings (including the October attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) please see For a detailed list of prior lethal attacks on law enforcement involving permit holders, please see

This, and additional information, is contained in the most recent update to the Violence Policy Center’s (VPC) ongoing Concealed Carry Killers project, (, an online resource that provides examples of non-self defense killings involving private citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns in public. Issued on October 30, 2018, the update does not reflect this most recent shooting.

VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “The rationale for concealed carry is that ‘good guys’ armed with guns will use them to protect themselves and others. Our research shows the opposite. Far too often it is the supposed ‘good guy’ with a concealed handgun permit who perpetrates the mass shooting. This time, he also took the life of a law enforcement officer. It is long past time to reevaluate the wisdom of arming private citizens to carry guns in our public spaces.”

Overall, Concealed Carry Killers documents 1,069 fatal, non-self defense incidents since May 2007 through October 30, 2018 in 40 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in the deaths of 1,289 people. 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 in Concealed Carry Killers are taken primarily from news reports along with the limited information collected by a few states. Hence, they likely represent a small fraction of actual events. Concealed Carry Killers does not include the small number of incidents that are eventually determined to involve self-defense or where no verdict is reached at trial. All such incidents are removed from the database’s ongoing totals.

In the vast majority of the 1,069 incidents (968, or 91 percent) documented in Concealed Carry Killers (not including this most recent attack), the concealed carry permit holder either committed suicide (533), has already been convicted (357), perpetrated a murder-suicide (59), or was killed in the incident (19). Of the 66 cases still pending, the vast majority (54) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, five were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and seven incidents are still under investigation. An additional 35 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder. Concealed Carry Killers includes detailed narratives for the majority of the 1,069 incidents, including (if available) the age of the perpetrator and the victim(s), the weapon used, the relationship(s) of those involved in the killing, and motives for the killing when stated.

The findings of Concealed Carry Killers are consistent with the latest academic research, which shows that state laws allowing concealed handguns in public do not increase public safety — in fact, they do the opposite. A 2017 study from Stanford University concludes that state concealed carry laws are linked to an increase in violent crime. And a September 2018 VPC study, Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use, shows it is extremely rare for private citizens to use guns in justifiable homicides. In 2015, for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 34 criminal homicides. In 2015, there were only 265 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm. That same year, there were 9,027 criminal firearm homicides, based on data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s Supplementary Homicide Report. This ratio does not even take into account the tens of thousands of lives lost in gun suicides and unintentional shootings that year.

Additional information, including a state-by-state breakdown of fatal incidents involving concealed carry killers, is available at To review all deaths involving concealed carry killers, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Carry Killers.”




The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

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