For Release: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Washington, DC—Persons legally allowed to carry concealed handguns have killed at least 300 individuals since May 2007 according to the April 2011 update of Concealed Carry Killers, a Violence Policy Center (VPC) on-line resource that tallies news reports of killings by persons allowed to legally carry concealed handguns. These killings include the deaths of 11 law enforcement officers as well as 18 mass shootings where private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns have taken, or have been charged with taking, the lives of 79 innocent victims. These numbers do not include any killings determined by authorities to be lawful self-defense.
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “These numbers can only scratch the surface of the damage done by people legally carrying concealed handguns since there is no system to officially collect the incidents of murder, suicide, unintentional discharges, and run-of-the-mill crimes committed by gun carriers. But what we do know is that innocent people are paying with their lives for misguided policies that encourage gun carrying.”
The Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers database documents 205 incidents in 30 states since May 2007. In nearly three quarters of the incidents (152) the concealed carry killer has already been convicted (65), committed suicide (84), or was killed in the incident (three). Of the 53 cases still pending, the vast majority (41) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, two were deemed incompetent to stand trial, three incidents were unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed permit holder, and six incidents are still under investigation.
Because most state systems that allow the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private citizens release little data about 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 205 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 by concealed carry killers, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Carry Killers.” While the incident summaries of the few concealed carry killers who were found not guilty or were eventually not charged are listed on the site, those numbers are not included in the Violence Policy Center’s totals.
For non-fatal concealed carry incidents follow the Violence Policy Center (VPC) on Twitter — http://twitter.com/VPCinfo — and visit the VPC’s Concealed Carry Killers page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/manage/#!/pages/Violence-Policy-Center-Concealed-Carry-Killers/258069527568
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.