Connecticut Beer Truck
Driver Who Killed 8 Then Self in August Was a Concealed Handgun Permit
Holder--VPC Concealed Carry Killers October Update
beer truck driver Omar Thornton, who in August shot to death eight co-workers
before taking his own life, was a concealed handgun permit holder according
to new information obtained under Connecticut’s Freedom of Information
Act by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) for the October update to Concealed
Carry Killers. In his permit application (http://www.vpc.org/thorntonpermit.pdf),
Thornton listed “job” as the reason for his requiring the permit. Concealed
Carry Killers is an on-line VPC resource that tallies news reports of
killings by concealed handgun permit holders that have not been determined
to be legitimate self defense. According to the October update, concealed
handgun permit holders have killed at least 213 individuals since May
2007--including 17 mass shootings claiming a total of 73 lives.
“It is now commonplace
for mass shooters to be licensed to carry concealed handguns. It is clear
that the licensing systems are completely ineffective at weeding out applicants
who are likely to kill in anger rather than self-defense. These dangerous
concealed carry laws need to be repealed to save innocent lives,” states
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand.
Of the 125 incidents
in 28 states that resulted in the 213 deaths, in more than half (71 incidents)
the concealed handgun permit holder has already been convicted, committed
suicide after the incident, or was killed in the incident. Of the 54 cases
still pending, the vast majority (44) of concealed handgun permit holders
have been charged with criminal homicide, two were deemed incompetent
to stand trial, two incidents were unintentional shootings, and six incidents
are still under investigation.
A summary of each
of the 125 incidents is available at http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm,
clicking on each category leads to a state-by-state breakout for the incidents
with current known status. To review all killings by concealed handgun
permit holders, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit
Holders.” While the incident summaries of the few concealed handgun permit
holders eventually found not guilty are listed on the site, those numbers
are not included in the VPC's totals.
Because most state
systems that allow the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private
citizens release little data about crimes committed by permit holders,
the VPC reviews and tallies concealed handgun permit holder killings primarily
as reported by news outlets. It is likely that the actual number of fatal
incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders is far higher.
The Violence Policy Center is
a national educational organization working to stop gun death and injury.
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Friday, October 29, 2010
Violence Policy Center
(202) 822-8200 x109