The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Mandy Wimmer,
Communications Associate, 202-822-8200 x110,

Concealed Handgun Permit Holders Kill 7 Police, 44 Private Citizens Over Two-Year Period

31 Incidents Result in Criminal Charges or Suicide of Concealed Handgun Permit Holder


-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 according to a new study (
released today by the Violence Policy Center (VPC). The release of the
study comes as the U.S. Senate is expected to take up today--Monday, July
20--an amendment to the defense authorization bill (S. 1390) that would create
a de facto national concealed carry system, overriding the rights of states
with more restrictive laws governing the carrying of concealed handguns.
The amendment is sponsored by Senator John Thune (R-SD). Senator
Charles Schumer (D-NY) has said he will filibuster the amendment.

Because most state systems allowing the carrying of
concealed handguns in public by private citizens release little data about
crimes committed by permit holders, the VPC reviewed shooting incidents as
reported by news outlets. It is likely that the actual number of fatal
criminal incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders is far

The study, "Law Enforcement and Private Citizens
Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders--An Analysis of News Reports, May
2007 to April 2009," finds that during the two-year period

o 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 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.

VPC Legislative Director Kristen
Rand states, "State concealed handgun systems are
arming cop-killers and other murderers. It is beyond irrational for
Congress to vote to expand the reach of these deadly laws."

The study offers detailed descriptions of the 31 incidents,
which occurred in 15 states. Law enforcement officers were killed
in: Florida, Idaho,
Ohio (two incidents), and Pennsylvania (two incidents). Private
citizens were killed in: Alabama, Colorado, Florida (nine
incidents), Idaho, Kentucky,
Minnesota, New York,
North Carolina (two incidents), Ohio (three incidents), Oklahoma,
South Carolina, Tennessee,
Utah (two incidents), and Virginia.

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) works to stop gun death and injury through research, education, advocacy, and collaboration. Founded in 1988 by Executive Director Josh Sugarmann, a native of Newtown, Connecticut, the VPC informs the public about the impact of gun violence on their daily lives, exposes the profit-driven marketing and lobbying activities of the firearms industry and gun lobby, offers unique technical expertise to policymakers, organizations, and advocates on the federal, state, and local levels, and works for policy changes that save lives. The VPC has a long and proven record of policy successes on the federal, state, and local levels, leading the National Rifle Association to acknowledge us as "the most effective ... anti-gun rabble-rouser in Washington."