The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Sally Martinelli,(202) 822-8200 x104,

Murder, Suicide, and More Convictions: VPC Concealed Carry Killers December Update


The conviction of a Massachusetts concealed
handgun permit holder who executed his wife in the driveway of their home, a
domestic violence offender who sued to get his concealed carry permit reissued
and then killed his six-year-old son and himself, and a drug dealer accused of
shooting a customer who didn't pay for three ounces of marijuana are among this
month's updates and additions to Concealed Carry Killers, a Violence Policy
Center (VPC) on-line resource that tallies reports of killings by concealed
handgun permit holders that have not been determined to be legitimate self

Since May 2007, concealed handgun permit holders have killed
at least 282 individuals--including nine law enforcement officers--in 193
incidents in 28 states. In more than two-thirds of the incidents (134)
the concealed handgun permit holder has already been convicted, committed
suicide, or was killed in the incident. Of the 59 cases still pending, the vast
majority (47) of concealed handgun permit holders have been charged with
criminal homicide, two were deemed incompetent to stand trial, two incidents
were unintentional shootings, and eight incidents are still under
investigation. Of the 193 incidents, 17 were mass shootings where
concealed handgun permit holders claimed the lives of 73 victims.

Commenting on the most recent additions to the Concealed
Carry Killers tally, Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand states,"Each month we see a
different set of lives destroyed by concealed carry permit holders."

A summary of each of the 193 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 charges are listed on the
site, those numbers are not included in the VPC's totals.

New additions and updates for December include:

o In December 2010, Missouri concealed handgun permit holder
Clinton Gallagher, 35, shot and killed his six-year-old son Alex and then
himself in a murder-suicide. Court documents filed the prior week by
Gallagher's wife revealed that she feared for her son's life as
well as her own. According to news
reports, in her filing she expressed concerns about a gun
Gallagher owned and requested temporary custody of Alex. She wrote,
'I'm afraid he will use it on me at this time being that he is in a
rage." In 2009, Gallagher pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor domestic
violence charge against his wife. As a result, he lost his concealed
weapons permit. He then sued the Jackson County Sheriff's Office in
2010 to have his permit re-issued and won.

o In December 2010, Florida concealed handgun permit
holder and drug dealer Emanuel "Emma" Laboy Rivera, 26, allegedly
shot and killed Lekeefe Lee, 25, the result of a drug deal gone bad.
According to news reports, Rivera, who dealt drugs out of his home, had agreed
to sell Lee three ounces of marijuana for $900. Lee, who had no cash on
him, took only two ounces, leaving his .380 handgun with Rivera as
collateral. A half hour later Lee returned to Rivera's home and
took his handgun and the remaining ounce of marijuana without paying
Rivera. As Lee attempted to leave, Rivera fired his Glock pistol into
Lee's car, hitting and killing him. Because of Florida's Castle law, which allows the
use of lethal force in cases of perceived threat, Rivera was not charged with
homicide (even though the law does not apply to a person who is engaged in
unlawful activity). Rivera was instead charged with two felony counts of
delivery of drugs and use of a gun in the commission of a felony.

o In November 2010, Massachusetts concealed handgun
permit holder John Tassinari was found guilty of first degree murder and
sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder of his wife, whom he
shot and killed in the driveway of the couple's home. "It was an
execution," Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said after
the verdict was read. According to the medical examiner who performed the
autopsy on Barbara Tassinari's body, the damage was so extensive that it
was difficult to tell how many times she'd been shot.
"Justice was served, absolutely," said neighbor Anne Irwin, who had
witnessed Barbara Tassinari falling in her driveway, calling her husband a "sick,
sick guy."

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.


For non-fatal concealed carry incidents follow the VPC on
Twitter --
-- and visit the Violence
Policy Center's
Concealed Carry Killers page on Facebook:!/pages/Violence-Policy-Center-Concealed-Carry-Killers/258069527568

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."