The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Marty Langley, 202-822-8200 x109,

Non-Self Defense Deaths Involving Persons Legally Allowed to Carry Concealed Handguns Hit 484

VPC Concealed Carry Killers October Update


At least 484 people, including 14 law enforcement officers, have been killed since May 2007 in incidents not ruled self-defense involving private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns according to the October update of the Violence Policy Center's (VPC) Concealed Carry Killers on-lineresource (

VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, "People legally carrying concealed handguns in public are supposed to stop crime but overwhelming evidence shows that too many innocent people are dying. These numbers from Concealed Carry Killers represent only the tip of the iceberg as the gun lobby has blocked efforts to gather data detailing homicide and other crimes committed by legal gun carriers. The public deserves to know the facts."

The Violence Policy Center's Concealed Carry Killers database documents 356 incidents in 32 states since May 2007. In more than three quarters of the incidents (282) the concealed carry killer has already been convicted (108), committed suicide (167), or was killed in the incident (seven). Of the 64 cases still pending, the vast majority (51) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, five were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and eight incidents are still under investigation. An additional 10 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder. Twenty-three of the incidents were mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 103 victims.

Because most state systems that allow the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private citizens release little data about crimes committed by them, the primary source for Concealed Carry Killers is published news reports. It is likely that the actual number of fatal incidents involving citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns is far higher.

A detailed summary of each of the 356 incidents is availableat, 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."

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."