Innocent victims continue to to be fatally wounded by private citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns, reports the Violence Policy Center, an advocacy group. Concealed handgun permit holders are responsible for 1,259 deaths not involving self defense since 2007, the center says. It offers details on these fatal incidents on a website. The center says it found 1,049 fatal, non-self defense incidents since May 2007 in 40 states and the District of Columbia. Thirty-one of the incidents were fatal mass shootings as defined by federal law (three or more victims), resulting in the deaths of 147 people. At least 21 law enforcement officers have died at the hands of concealed carry killers since May 2007.
The center’s Kristen Rand said, “The evidence is clear that allowing random people to carry guns in public endangers public safety.” With no comprehensive recordkeeping of deaths involving concealed handgun permit holders, and many states prohibiting the release of such information, the examples provided by the center are taken primarily from news reports along with the limited information collected by a few states. They likely represent a small fraction of actual cases, the center says. Its database does not include the small number of incidents that are eventually determined to involve self-defense or where no verdict is reached at trial. In the vast majority of the 1,049 incidents documented, the concealed carry permit holder either committed suicide (532), has already been convicted (335), perpetrated a murder-suicide (59), or was killed in the incident (19). Of the 69 cases still pending, the vast majority (57) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, five were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and seven incidents are still under investigation.