For Release: Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Washington, DC–Concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least nine law enforcement officers in addition to 142 private citizens (including 15 shooters who killed themselves after an attack) since May 2007 according to the latest update of Concealed Carry Killers, a Violence Policy Center (VPC) on-line resource that tallies news reports of such killings. The web site, located at http://concealedcarrykillers.org, is updated monthly to include new fatal shootings since May 2007 by concealed handgun permit holders and any changes in the legal status of permit holders facing criminal charges. (Any concealed handgun permit holders who are eventually acquitted of their alleged crimes are not included in the tallies maintained on the site although the facts surrounding the shooting are detailed.)
The VPC web site categorizes the 89 incidents, which occurred in 23 states, and offers detailed descriptions of each incident (some incidents may fit into multiple categories). Of these incidents, 15 were murder-suicides involving firearms and 13 were mass shootings (three or more victims) that claimed as many as 11 lives at a time. Law enforcement officers were killed in Alabama, Florida (two incidents), Idaho, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (two incidents). All of the law enforcement killings were committed with guns.
Private citizens were killed in Alabama, Arkansas, California (two incidents), Colorado, Florida (15 incidents), Idaho (two incidents), Kentucky, Massachusetts (two incidents), Michigan (nine incidents), Minnesota, New York, North Carolina (five incidents), Ohio (eight incidents), Oklahoma (two incidents), Oregon, Pennsylvania (seven incidents), Rhode Island, South Carolina (two incidents), Tennessee (seven incidents), Texas (three incidents), Utah (five incidents), Virginia (five incidents), and Washington. All but one of the killings were committed with guns.
Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Each month we are finding more and more killings by concealed handgun permit holders. Just as opponents of weak concealed carry laws warned, we now know that concealed handgun permit holders are killing people in road rage incidents, arguments over parking spaces, and domestic disputes. The incidents we document graphically demonstrate how the presence of a handgun escalates an argument to a homicide. How many more people must die at the hands of concealed carry killers before state legislators act to fix these laws?”
Because most state systems that allow the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private citizens release little data about crimes committed by permit holders, the VPC reviews and tallies concealed handgun permit holder killings primarily as reported by news outlets. It is likely that the actual number of fatal incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders is far higher.