For Release: Tuesday, June 26, 2014
Washington, DC —Individuals legally allowed to carry concealed handguns are responsible for at least 28 mass shootings since May 2007, resulting in the deaths of 131 victims, according to updated data released by the Violence Policy Center (VPC).
Details can be found 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. Overall, Concealed Carry Killers documents 481 incidents in 36 states and the District of Columbia since May 2007, resulting in the deaths of 644 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 on the Concealed Carry Killers website are taken primarily from news reports and most likely represent a fraction of actual events.
“These numbers give the lie to claims by the NRA and the gun industry that concealed carry improves public safety,” states VPC Executive Director Josh Sugarmann. “The Concealed Carry Killers database reveals a horrifying list of deadly incidents committed by people legally allowed to carry concealed handguns in public.”
In the vast majority of the 481 incidents documented (402, or 84 percent), the concealed carry killer either committed suicide (189), has already been convicted (159), perpetrated a murder-suicide (40), or was killed in the incident (14).
Of the 63 cases still pending, the vast majority (53) 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 16 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder.
Twenty-eight of the incidents were mass shootings (3 or more victims), resulting in 131 deaths. Recent mass shootings perpetrated by concealed carry killers include the Navy Yard shooting in Washington, DC in September 2013 that left 12 innocent people dead. In July 2013, a concealed handgun permit holder left six innocent people dead at an apartment complex in Hialeah, Florida.
The database also shows at least 14 law enforcement officers died at the hands of concealed carry killers since May 2007.
The 481 incidents do not include any that were ruled as self-defense. Only 15 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 481 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.”
About the Violence Policy Center