The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Marty Langley, 202-822-8200 x109,

Killings by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders Top 200, One-Third of Incidents Involved Family Violence--VPC Concealed Carry Killers September Update


Concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least 202 individuals since May 2007 with 34 percent of the killings involving family violence according to the September update of Concealed Carry Killers, a Violence Policy Center (VPC) on-line resource that tallies news reports of killings by concealed handgun permit holders. The update comes one day before the beginning of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

Forty-two of the 122 incidents involved family violence. Of these, 29 involved intimate partner violence. Fifteen of the 42 family violence incidents ended in murder-suicide, accounting for 65 percent (15 of 23) of all the murder-suicides committed by concealed handgun permit holders tallied by the VPC to date.

Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, "A permit to carry a concealed handgun has become one more weapon in the arsenal of domestic abusers who ultimately kill their intimate partner or other family member. Contrary to the false assurances of concealed carry proponents, too many of those with valid permits kill in anger, not self-defense."

Of the 122 incidents in 27 states that resulted in the 202 deaths, in more than half (66 incidents) the concealed handgun permit holder has already been convicted, committed suicide after the incident, or was killed in the incident. Of the 56 cases still pending, the vast majority (46) of concealed handgun permit holders have been charged with criminal homicide, two were deemed incompetent to stand trial, two incidents were unintentional shootings, and six incidents are still under investigation. Of the 122 incidents, 16 were mass shootings where concealed handgun permit holders claimed the lives of 65 victims.

A summary of each of the 122 incidents is available at, clicking on each category leads to a state-by-state breakout for the incidents with current known status. To review all killings by concealed handgun permit holders, click on "Total People Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders." While the incident summaries of the few concealed handgun permit holders eventually found not guilty of their crimes are listed on the site, those numbers are not included in the VPC's totals.

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.

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."