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Pittsburgh Fitness Center Attack Only Most Recent Mass Shooting Committed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holder

At Least 26 People Have Been Killed in Recent Mass Shootings Committed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders

Sodini, the man who opened fire on Tuesday at a Pittsburgh health club
killing three women and wounding nine others--including the pregnant fitness
instructor--before turning a gun on himself, is at least the sixth person
licensed to carry a concealed handgun to commit a mass shooting since
May 2007, according to Violence Policy Center (VPC) research. According
to the Allegheny County Police as reported by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Sodini had a permit to carry weapons.

These six mass shootings
by known concealed handgun permit holders have claimed 26 innocent lives.
An additional 16 people were injured. In three of the incidents, including
the most recent Pittsburgh shooting, the shooter took his own life. One
of the incidents--which also occurred in Pittsburgh--claimed the lives
of three law enforcement officers.

“Concealed handgun
permits were promoted by the gun lobby as a mechanism to arm ‘law abiding’
citizens who, in theory, would prevent mass shootings. Instead, the hard
facts demonstrate that concealed handgun permit holders don’t prevent
mass shootings, they perpetrate them,” said Kristen Rand, legislative
director of the Violence Policy Center and author of a July 2009 VPC study
documenting killings by concealed handgun permit holders, Law Enforcement
and Private Citizens Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders: An Analysis
of News Reports, May 2007 to April 2009,,
as well as a recent update to the study,

The Pittsburgh mass
shooting comes on the heels of the U.S. Senate’s rejection on July 22nd
of a gun lobby amendment to create a nationalized concealed handgun permit
system. The amendment, sponsored by Senator John Thune (R-SD), would have
forced states that issue concealed handgun permits to recognize permits
issued by any other state. In this case, it would have allowed Sodini
to carry his concealed handgun, and commit his mass murder, in any of
the other 47 states that issue concealed carry permits--without any regard
for the much tougher standards for permit issuance that many states, such
as New York and California, have in place.

“This has reached
the level of madness,” adds Rand, “states run bureaucracies to give out
permits to people who commit mass shootings--how is that rational, much
less good public policy? This Pittsburgh incident alone should supply
the impetus for states to repeal these dangerous laws.”


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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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