Florida Movie Theater Shooter the Latest Example of a Concealed Carry Killer

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Avery Palmer, 202-822-8200 x104, apalmer@vpc.org

Florida Movie Theater Shooter the Latest Example of a Concealed Carry Killer

Individuals Legally Allowed to Carry Concealed Handguns Responsible for Over 550 Deaths, 27 Mass Shootings Since May 2007

WASHINGTON - The shooting in a Florida movie theater Monday in a dispute over texting during a movie preview is just one of hundreds of fatal incidents perpetrated by private individuals legally allowed to carry concealed weapons.

At least 554 other people, including 14 law enforcement officers, have been killed since May 2007 in non-self defense incidents involving private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns, according to the latest update of the Violence Policy Center's (VPC) Concealed Carry Killersdatabase.

“The examples we have collected in our Concealed Carry Killers database show that with alarming regularity, individuals licensed to carry concealed weapons instigate fatal shootings that have nothing to do with self-defense,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Together with the political muscle of the NRA, the gun industry has created a concealed carry culture that is a proven threat to public safety.” 

As the violence continues, the gun industry is meeting in Las Vegas this week for the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show, the annual trade show for the industry, sponsored by the Newtown, CT-based National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). A VPC reportreleased this week shows how the industry uses militaristic language to sell civilian shooters assault weapons and accessories such as silencers.

The Violence Policy Center’s Concealed Carry Killers database documents 397 incidents and 554 deaths involving concealed carry killers in 33 states and the District of Columbia since May 2007. Twenty-seven of the incidents were mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 128 victims.

Because no comprehensive data exists, the victims in Concealed Carry Killers are just examples taken from news reports and the limited state data available. They most likely represent a fraction of the total number of similar incidents that routinely occur across the nation.

In 82 percent of the incidents (325) the concealed carry killer committed suicide (133), has already been convicted (142), perpetrated a murder-suicide (38), or was killed in the incident (12). Of the 57 cases still pending, the vast majority (47) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and six incidents are still under investigation. Any incidents that are ruled to be in self-defense are removed from the database.

An additional 15 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder. At least 14 of the total victims were law enforcement officers.

A detailed summary of each of the 397 incidents is available at http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm. 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.”

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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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