For Release: Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Washington, DC–From July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011, 38 lives were ended by Michigan concealed handgun permit holders in non-self defense deaths according to the April update of the Violence Policy Center’s (VPC) Concealed Carry Killers on-line resource (http://concealedcarrykillers.org). The Michigan concealed handgun permit deaths are comprised of: five pending criminal homicides (including the murder of a law enforcement officer); four criminal homicide convictions; and 29 suicides. With these latest additions, the total number of people killed since May 2007 in incidents not ruled self-defense involving private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns as tallied by Concealed Carry Killers has reached 440. (Besides the fatality category and legal status, no other additional information is available regarding the Michigan deaths.)
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Michigan is one of the few states that releases any data about non-self defense deaths associated with concealed handgun permit holders. The Michigan deaths represent only a 12-month period from a single state. If we could obtain similar data for every state that issues concealed handgun permits, the numbers would be staggering. The public deserves to know the truth. The Violence Policy Center urges that information on crimes committed by private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns be collected and analyzed through the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reports.”
The Violence Policy Center has been tracking incidents since May 2007 in which private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns kill in non-self defense incidents. The Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers database documents 328 incidents in 32 states for a total of 440 deaths. In more than three quarters of the incidents (256) the concealed carry killer has already been convicted (87), committed suicide (163), or was killed in the incident (six). Of the 63 cases still pending, the vast majority (53) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and six incidents are still under investigation. An additional nine incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder. Twelve of the deaths were fatal shootings of law enforcement officers. Twenty of the incidents were mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 89 victims.
Because, unlike Michigan, 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. The actual number of fatal incidents involving citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns is most likely far higher.
A detailed summary of each of the 328 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.