For Release: Thursday, March 28, 2013
Washington, DC–At least 508 people, including 14 law enforcement officers, have been killed since May 2007 in incidents not ruled self-defense involving private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns according to the March update of the Violence Policy Center’s (VPC) Concealed Carry Killers on-line resource (http://concealedcarrykillers.org). Because no comprehensive data exists on such non-self defense killings, the victims in Concealed Carry Killers are just examples taken from news reports and the limited state data available of the unknown, untabulated number of similar incidents that routinely occur across the nation.
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “The evidence is mounting that concealed carry permit holders perpetrate more crime than they prevent. Comprehensive data should be collected and released to the public so that the effect on public safety of issuing licenses to carry loaded handguns in public is measured by fact and not by the rhetoric of permit proponents.”
The Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers database documents 377 incidents in 32 states since May 2007. In nearly 80 percent of the incidents (300) the concealed carry killer has already been convicted (126), committed suicide (167), or was killed in the incident (seven). Of the 67 cases still pending, the vast majority (55) 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 10 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder. Twenty-three of the incidents were mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 103 victims.
Because most state systems that allow the carrying of loaded concealed handguns in public by private citizens hide data regarding the lethal crimes committed by them, the primary source for Concealed Carry Killers is published news reports. It is likely that the actual number of fatal incidents involving citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns is far higher.
A detailed summary of each of the 377 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
The Violence Policy Center is a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury. Follow the VPC on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.