For Release: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Incidents Include 31 Mass Shootings That Killed 147 People
Washington, DC — At the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting and gun show beginning today in Atlanta, a priority will be weakening state concealed weapons laws and promoting a federal law to force all states to recognize permits issued by any other state. New, weaker laws would benefit both the NRA and its financial benefactors in the firearms industry. Yet while the NRA promotes concealed handgun permit holders as ‘good guys with guns’ protecting public safety, ongoing research by the Violence Policy Center (VPC) reveals that innocent victims continue to die at the hands of private citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns. Concealed handgun permit holders are responsible for at least 969 deaths not involving self defense since 2007, including 31 mass shootings that killed 147 people, VPC research shows. Since there is no comprehensive recordkeeping of fatal incidents involving concealed carry permit holders, this tally most likely represents a small fraction of the actual total.
Details on these fatal incidents can be found on Concealed Carry Killers, an online resource that provides examples of non-self defense killings involving private citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns in public. Information on these incidents is organized by state. Earlier this year in Georgia, concealed handgun permit holder Glenn Patrick Lampien was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the August 2014 death of 68-year-old May Araim, who he unintentionally shot on the street in the German-themed tourist town of Helen.
Overall, Concealed Carry Killers documents 767 fatal, non-self defense incidents since May 2007 in 40 states and the District of Columbia, resulting in the deaths of 969 people. Thirty-one of the incidents were mass shootings as defined by federal law (three or more victims killed), resulting in the deaths of 147 victims. At least 18 law enforcement officers have died at the hands of concealed carry killers since May 2007.
VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Across the nation, concealed handgun permit holders are creating mayhem, killing innocent victims not just in bar fights, traffic altercations, and domestic violence, but in workplace violence and mass shootings. Concealed handgun permit holders don’t save lives, they take them. But this means little to a gun lobby and firearms industry that has identified concealed carry as a profit center, regardless of the cost to public safety.”
Just recently, the NRA announced its Carry Guard Personal Firearms Liability Insurance which includes, “Immediate access as needed to supplementary payments for bail, bonds, legal retainer fees, lawful replacement of legally possessed firearm, compensation while in court, psychological support and cleanup costs.” The top tier of the insurance plan costs $360 per year.
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 along with the limited information collected by a few states. Hence, they likely represent a 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 767 incidents documented in Concealed Carry Killers (640, or 83 percent), the concealed carry permit holder either committed suicide (314), has already been convicted (251), perpetrated a murder-suicide (58), or was killed in the incident (17). Of the 97 cases still pending, the vast majority (83) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and 10 incidents are still under investigation. An additional 30 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 767 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.
Below is a chart showing the status of all concealed carry killers since May 2007:
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 increase public safety — in fact, they do the opposite. A 2014 study from Stanford University concludes that state concealed carry laws are linked to an increase in violent crime.
And a recent VPC study, Firearm Justifiable Homicides and Non-Fatal Self-Defense Gun Use, shows it is extremely rare for private citizens to use guns in justifiable homicides. The study found that in 2013, there were only 211 justifiable homicides involving a private citizen using a firearm. That same year, there were 7,838 criminal firearm homicides, based on data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Uniform Crime Reporting Program’s Supplementary Homicide Report.
Additional information, including a state-by-state breakdown of fatal incidents involving concealed carry killers, is available at concealedcarrykillers.org. To review all deaths involving concealed carry killers, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Carry Killers.”