For Release: Wednesday, April 29, 2015
Washington, DC — Individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns in public are responsible for at least 743 non-self defense deaths since 2007, a number that likely represents a fraction of the actual total, according to updated data released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC).
The latest information on these fatal incidents is detailed on Concealed Carry Killers (concealedcarrykillers.org), an online resource that provides examples of non-self defense killings involving private citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns in public. Information on these incidents is organized by state.
A few of the recent incidents detailed on Concealed Carry Killers include:
- A Virginia woman with a concealed carry permit who allegedly shot and killed her husband while their two young daughters were in the home;
- A man with a concealed carry permit who shot his female neighbor eight times in the staircase of their Philadelphia apartment building before killing himself;
- A concealed carry permit holder who shot and killed a man following a confrontation at a beekeeping farm in Maine; and,
- A concealed carry permit holder in Brooklyn, New York, who shot and killed himself when police discovered his maraschino cherry supply company was a front for a marijuana operation.
“Our research shows that concealed carry permit holders are involved in murders or suicides far more often than they act in self-defense,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “The NRA is relentlessly lobbying state and federal lawmakers to allow more concealed handguns in public despite the clear evidence that doing so puts more people in danger.”
Overall, Concealed Carry Killers documents 561 fatal incidents since May 2007 in 36 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in the deaths of 743 people. Twenty-nine of the incidents were mass shootings (three or more victims), resulting in the deaths of 139 victims. At least 17 law enforcement officers died at the hands of concealed carry killers since May 2007.
In the vast majority of the 561 incidents documented (468, or 83 percent), the concealed carry permit holder either committed suicide (222), has already been convicted (184), perpetrated a murder-suicide (46), or was killed in the incident (16). Of the 73 cases still pending, the majority (63) 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 20 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder.
Because there is no comprehensive recordkeeping of deaths involving concealed handgun permit holders and many states in fact bar the release of such information, the examples on Concealed Carry Killers are taken primarily from news reports and most likely represent a fraction of actual events.
Concealed Carry Killers includes detailed information for the majority of the 561 incidents, including (if available) the age of the perpetrator and the victim(s), the weapon used, the relationship(s) of those involved in the killing, and motives for the killing when stated.
Concealed Carry Killers does not include the small number of incidents that are eventually determined to involve self-defense or where no verdict is reached at trial. All such incidents are removed from the database’s ongoing totals.
Below is a chart showing the status of all concealed carry killers since May 2007:
Additional information, including a state-by-state breakdown of fatal incidents involving concealed carry killers, is available at concealedcarrykillers.org. To review all deaths involving concealed carry killers, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Carry Killers.”