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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2009
1:37 PM

CONTACT: Violence Policy Center

Mandy Wimmer, Communications Associate, 202-822-8200 x110, mwimmer@vpc.org

Violence Policy Center Statement on Defeat of Thune Amendment Creating National Concealed Handgun System

WASHINGTON - July 22 - Following today's Senate vote defeating the Thune Amendment, which would have created a nationalized concealed handgun permitting system, the Violence Policy Center issued the following statement by VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand:

"Today's Senate vote is a victory for those who support a sane national gun policy.    

"Concealed carry permit holders have already killed police officers, murdered innocent citizens, and committed mass shootings. 

"The Thune Amendment would have nullified laws in states such as New York and California that have tough standards for the issuance of concealed handgun permits.  Those states would have been forced to allow the carrying of concealed handguns within their borders by people with permits issued by states with the lowest standards, such as Idaho and Florida.  The amendment would have also undermined state assault weapons bans because it would have allowed permit holders to carry concealed assault weapons into the seven states that currently ban these guns.

"The danger of the Thune amendment is demonstrated by the fact that proponents of a nationalized concealed carry system argue that lax concealed handgun laws are the answer to mass shootings, but the hard facts are that concealed handgun permit holders do not prevent mass shootings, they perpetrate them."

Earlier this week, the VPC released a new study (http://www.vpc.org/studies/ccw2009.pdf) showing that concealed handgun permit holders killed at least seven police officers and 44 private citizens in 31 incidents during the period May 2007 through April 2009.  Among the study's findings--

o  Over the two-year period May 2007 through April 2009, concealed handgun permit holders have slain seven law enforcement officers resulting in criminal charges or the suicide of the shooter.  All of the killings were committed with guns.  An additional three law enforcement officers were injured in these incidents.

o  Over the two-year period May 2007 through April 2009, concealed handgun permit holders have slain at least 44 private citizens resulting in criminal charges or the suicide of the shooter.  All but one of the killings were committed with guns.  An additional six private citizens were injured in these incidents.

o  In six of the 31 incidents (19 percent), the concealed handgun permit holder killed himself, bringing the total fatality count to 57.

o  Five of the incidents were mass shootings resulting in the deaths of 23 victims.

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The Violence Policy Center is a national tax-exempt educational organization working for a safer America through research, investigation, analysis, and advocacy. The VPC provides information to policymakers, journalists, organizations, advocates, and the general public.


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