For Release: Thursday, February 12, 2015
Washington, DC — The man who allegedly murdered three students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Tuesday had a concealed handgun permit, state records show. It is the 29th mass shooting (three or more victims) committed by a concealed handgun permit holder since May 2007, according to a running tally maintained by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) as part of its Concealed Carry Killers project.
In response to this latest high-profile attack by a concealed handgun permit holder, VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states:
“The tragedy in North Carolina is simply the most recent example of a mass attack by an individual with a permit to carry a gun. Concealed handgun permit holders don’t stop mass shootings, they commit them. Far from being a tool for public safety, concealed handgun permits are a license to kill.”
On February 10, Craig Stephen Hicks allegedly shot and killed three neighbors in their apartment complex, reportedly after a long-standing dispute over parking. The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime because the victims were Muslim. It is reported that state records show Hicks has a valid concealed carry permit, and according to an attorney for his wife he was a “champion” of “Second Amendment rights.”
The VPC maintains a database called Concealed Carry Killers (concealedcarrykillers.org), an online resource that provides examples of non-self defense killings by private citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns in public. Overall, the database documents 544 fatal incidents since May 2007, resulting in the deaths of 722 people (not including this week’s incident in North Carolina).
The incident in North Carolina is only the latest mass shooting involving a concealed carry killer. Twenty-eight additional incidents were mass shootings (three or more victims), resulting in the deaths of 136 victims. The database also shows at least 17 law enforcement officers died at the hands of concealed carry killers since May 2007.
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. They most likely represent only a fraction of the actual events.
A detailed summary of each of the 544 incidents in the Concealed Carry Killers database is available at: 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.” To view a list of incidents organized by state, visit concealedcarrykillers.org/state-by-state-fatality-information/.