For Release: Thursday, February 5, 2015
Washington, DC — Individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns in public are responsible for at least 722 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).
One of the most recent victims was Dr. Michael Davidson, a cardiac surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Concealed handgun permit holder Stephen Pasceri shot and killed Davidson on January 20, 2015, before turning the 40 caliber pistol on himself.
Details on this killing and hundreds of others can be found in the latest update to Concealed Carry Killers, an online resource that provides examples of non-self defense killings by private citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns in public. Overall, Concealed Carry Killers documents 544 incidents since May 2007 in 36 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in the deaths of 722 people.
“In Boston, a concealed handgun permit holder killed a surgeon and terrorized an entire hospital,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “This is just one of hundreds of examples of fatal shootings perpetrated by concealed carry killers. The evidence is clear that we are compromising public safety by allowing concealed handguns in public.”
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. The online resource includes detailed information for the majority of the 544 incidents, organized by state, 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.
In the vast majority of the 544 incidents documented (455, or 84 percent), the concealed carry killer either committed suicide (218), has already been convicted (177), perpetrated a murder-suicide (44), or was killed in the incident (16).
Of the 69 cases still pending, the majority (60) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide. Four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and five incidents are still under investigation. An additional 20 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder.
Twenty-eight of the incidents were mass shootings (3 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.
Below is a chart showing the status of all concealed carry killers since May 2007:
The 544 incidents do not include any that were ruled as self-defense. Only 16 of the hundreds of examples tallied in Concealed Carry Killers were eventually deemed lawful self-defense. Such cases are then removed from the site’s ongoing totals.
The findings of Concealed Carry Killers are consistent with the latest academic research, which shows that state laws allowing concealed handguns in public do not protect public safety — in fact, they do the opposite. A recent study from Stanford University concludes that state concealed carry laws actually lead to an increase in violent crime.
A detailed summary of each of the 544 incidents is available at http://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 http://concealedcarrykillers.org/state-by-state-fatality-information/.