For Release: Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Washington, DC–At least 309 people, including 11 law enforcement officers, have been killed in incidents not ruled self-defense involving private citizens legally allowed to carry handguns according to the May update of the Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers on-line resource (http://concealedcarrykillers.org).
Included in the update is a Florida incident in which a two and a half year old toddler has been accused of accidently shooting his mother to death with the Glock handgun the toddler’s father, a concealed handgun permit holder, brought into the mother’s home while visiting.
“The conclusion is inescapable that the risks of concealed handguns far outweigh any benefit yet states continue to expand the number of places they can be carried. Innocent people’s lives are being ruined because a concealed permit holder was negligent, reckless, homicidal, or suicidal. This month it’s a toddler who lost his mother because a permit holder valued his gun more than the safety of a child.”
The Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers database documents 212 incidents in 32 states since May 2007. In nearly three quarters of the incidents (155) the concealed carry killer has already been convicted (66), committed suicide (85), or was killed in the incident (four). Of the 57 cases still pending, the vast majority (45) 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 handgun permit holder, and seven 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 212 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.” 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.