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Avery Palmer, 202-822-8200 x104,

As Zimmerman Case Begins, VPC Research Details Hundreds of Examples of Innocent Lives Lost to “Concealed Carry Killers

WASHINGTON - Washington, DC— As the trial opens this week over the deadly shooting of Trayvon Martin, research shows that similar fatal incidents are shockingly common. The Violence Policy Center has uncovered hundreds of examples of non-self defense incidents involving private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns. These incidents resulted in 516 deaths — including 24 mass shootings and the killing of 14 law enforcement officers. 

The VPC details these incidents in the latest update to Concealed Carry Killers, an online resource that offers examples of non-self defense killings by private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns in public. Because there is no comprehensive recordkeeping of deaths involving concealed handgun permit holders and many states in fact bar the release of such information, the examples on the Concealed Carry Killers website are taken primarily from news reports and most likely represent a fraction of actual events. 

“One of the most shocking aspects of the Trayvon Martin case is that similar incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders happen all the time,” said VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “We don’t yet know the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial. What we do know is that if the gun were not in the equation, Trayvon Martin would have walked home with his iced tea and Skittles.”

Concealed Carry Killers documents 381 incidents in 32 states since May 2007, resulting in 516 deaths involving private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns. Twenty-four of the incidents were mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 107 victims. Fourteen of the victims were law enforcement officers.

Click here to see a graph showing the status of incidents documented in the report.

In the vast majority of the incidents documented (307, or 81 percent), the concealed carry killer either committed suicide (132), has already been convicted (131), perpetrated a murder-suicide (36), or was killed in the incident (8).

Of the 62 cases still pending, the vast majority (52) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide. Four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and six incidents are still under investigation. An additional 12 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder.

The 381 incidents do not include any that were eventually ruled as self-defense.  Only 12 of the hundreds of examples tallied in Concealed Carry Killers were eventually deemed lawful self-defense. Such cases are then removed from the site’s ongoing totals.   

A detailed summary of each of the 381 incidentsis available at 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.”





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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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