Concealed handgun permit holders are responsible for at least 1,335 deaths not involving self defense since 2007, according to research from the Violence Policy Center (VPC).
“Concealed carry permit holders are supposed to be the ‘good guys’ with guns,” said VPC in a statement. “In reality, far too many permit holders are a direct threat to public safety.”
Thirty-five of the incidents were fatal mass shootings as defined by federal law (three or more victims killed), resulting in the deaths of 167 victims. At least 24 law enforcement officers have died at the hands of concealed carry killers since May 2007.
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Concealed carry killers continue to claim innocent lives at a shocking pace. At the same time, research shows that states with lax concealed carry laws have higher rates of violent crime. Contrary to the false claims made by the gun lobby, allowing random people to carry guns endangers public safety.”
Details on these fatal incidents can be found 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.
Overall, Concealed Carry Killers documents 1,104 fatal, non-self defense incidents since May 2007 in 40 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in the deaths of 1,335 people.
“Because there is no comprehensive record-keeping 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 along with the limited information collected by a few states,” according to a statement from VPC. “Hence, they likely represent a small fraction of actual events.”
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.
In the vast majority of the 1,104 incidents documented in Concealed Carry Killers (995, or 90 percent), the concealed carry permit holder either committed suicide (534), has already been convicted (379), perpetrated a murder-suicide (62), or was killed in the incident (20). Of the 72 cases still pending, the vast majority (59) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and nine incidents are still under investigation.
An additional 37 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder.
Concealed Carry Killers includes detailed narratives for the majority of the 1,104 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.
One example from another VPC publication details the story of handgun permit holder Juan Lopez, 32. On November 19, 2018, Lopez shot and killed his former fiancée Dr. Tamara O’Neal, 38, at Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago.
Lopez also shot and killed Dayna Less, 25, a first-year pharmacy resident, and Officer Samuel Jimenez, 28, who was responding to the shooting. Lopez was found dead at the hospital.