For Release: Wednesday, December 6, 2017
VPC’s Concealed Carry Killers Project Reveals Permit Holders Have Committed at Least 31 Mass Shootings, Taken at Least 21 Law Enforcement Lives
Washington, DC — The U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 38, a bill that establishes a system of federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity that would force every state to recognize concealed carry permits issued by any other state. This proposal would undermine each state’s ability to take the steps necessary to protect its own citizens and public safety.
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Today’s winners are the NRA and the gun industry, the losers are public safety and law enforcement. If this bill become law, the body count of innocent victims killed by concealed carry permit holders will only rise.”
Contrary to claims by the bill’s proponents, concealed carry permit holders are not by definition “good guys with guns.” The Violence Policy Center’s ongoing Concealed Carry Killers project documents 914 fatal, non-self defense incidents since May 2007 in 40 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in the deaths of 1,119 people. Thirty-one of the incidents were fatal mass shootings as defined by federal law (three or more victims), resulting in the deaths of 147 victims (to see the circumstances of all 31 mass shootings involving concealed carry killers, click http://concealedcarrykillers.org/mass-shootings-committed-by-concealed-carry-killers/). At least 21 law enforcement officers have died at the hands of concealed carry killers since May 2007. Most recently, on August 18, 2017, concealed handgun permit holder Everett Miller, 45, allegedly shot and killed Kissimmee Police Officer Matthew Baxter, 27, and Sgt. Sam Howard, 36, following a scuffle (to see the circumstances of all 21 law enforcement officers killed by concealed carry killers, click http://concealedcarrykillers.org/law-enforcement-officers-killed-by-concealed-carry-killers/).
In the vast majority of the 914 incidents documented in Concealed Carry Killers (784, or 86 percent), the concealed carry permit holder either committed suicide (399), has already been convicted (309), perpetrated a murder-suicide (58), or was killed in the incident (18). Of the 97 cases still pending, the vast majority (85) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and eight incidents are still under investigation. An additional 33 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 914 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. 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.
Below is a chart showing the status of all concealed carry killers since May 2007:
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 recent 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. The study found that in 2014, there were only 224 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm. That same year, there were 7,670 criminal firearm homicides, based on data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s Supplementary Homicide Report.
Additional information, including a state-by-state breakdown of fatal incidents involving concealed carry killers, is available at concealedcarrykillers.org. To review all deaths involving concealed carry killers, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Carry Killers.”