Murder Arrests, Murder-Suicide Among New Concealed Handgun Permit Holder Incidents Reported in VPC’s “Concealed Carry Killers” May Update

For Release:  Thursday, May 27, 2010

Washington, DC—Arrests for murder and a murder-suicide are among the new incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders detailed in the May update of Concealed Carry Killers, a Violence Policy Center (VPC) on-line resource that tallies news reports of such killings. Since May 2007, concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least 166 individuals, including nine law enforcement officers.

Among the new incidents included in the May update are:

  • Tennessee–On April 15, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Norman Bren Whitton, 69, allegedly shot and killed fellow retiree Larry Butcher, 74, after a road-rage incident at an upscale East Tennessee retirement village involving Whitton’s Cadillac sedan and Butcher’s golf cart. Whitton was charged with second-degree murder.
  • Washington–On April 28, 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Amanda Knight, 21, was allegedly part of a group of four criminals who took part in a home-invasion robbery that resulted in the shooting death of James Sanders, 43. Knight was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, and second-degree assault.
  • Virginia–On May 2, 2010, former Navy Captain and concealed handgun permit holder Robert Klosterman, 64, shot and killed his wife Rebecca, 57, in their home before shooting himself to death.

The VPC web site categorizes the 99 incidents, which occurred in 25 states, and offers detailed descriptions of each incident (some incidents may fit into multiple categories). Of these incidents, 16 were murder-suicides involving firearms and 15 were mass shootings (three or more victims) that claimed as many as 11 lives at a time. Law enforcement officers were killed in Alabama, Florida (two incidents), Idaho, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (two incidents).

Private citizens were killed in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida (16 incidents), Georgia, Idaho (two incidents), Indiana (two incidents), Kentucky (two incidents), Massachusetts (two incidents), Michigan (nine incidents), Minnesota, New York, North Carolina (five incidents), Ohio (nine incidents), Oklahoma (two incidents), Oregon, Pennsylvania (seven incidents), Rhode Island, South Carolina (two incidents), Tennessee (nine incidents), Texas (three incidents), Utah (five incidents), Virginia (seven incidents), and Washington (two incidents).

Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “Each month the evidence builds that lax concealed carry laws are arming killers who shoot at the slightest provocation–in road-rage incidents, arguments over parking spaces, and domestic disputes. In contrast, proponents of concealed carry can point to no legitimate evidence that permit holders enhance public safety. We have a system that has licensed 15 mass shooters and nine cop killers. It’s past time to repeal these dangerous laws.”

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.

 

 

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