For Release: Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Washington, DC–Concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least nine law enforcement officers and 98 private citizens (including 12 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 61 incidents, which occurred in 19 states, and offers detailed descriptions of each incident (some incidents may fit into multiple categories). Of these incidents, 12 were murder suicides involving firearms and 10 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, California, Colorado, Florida (11 incidents), Idaho (two incidents), Kentucky, Michigan (five incidents), New York, North Carolina (five incidents), Ohio (five incidents), Oklahoma (two incidents), Oregon, Pennsylvania (three incidents), South Carolina (two incidents), Tennessee (six incidents), Texas, Utah (two incidents), Virginia (four incidents), and Washington. All but one of the killings were committed with guns.
Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “When the National Rifle Association launched its state-by-state campaign for lax concealed handgun laws, it made this promise: ‘People who get permits in states which have fair right to carry laws are law abiding, upstanding community leaders who merely seek to exercise their right to self defense.’ To the contrary, concealed handgun permit holders are killing people over parking spaces, football games, and family arguments.”
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 as reported by news outlets. It is likely that the actual number of fatal criminal incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders is far higher.
The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.