The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Avery Palmer, 202-822-8200 x104,

Navy Yard Massacre Only the Most Recent Mass Shooting by a Concealed Handgun Permit Holder

More than two dozen mass shootings since May 2007 have been perpetrated by individuals legally allowed to carry concealed handguns


The attack at the Washington Navy Yard that claimed 12 innocent victims is only the latest example of a mass shooting committed by a person legally allowed to carry a concealed handgun. Since May 2007, there have been more than 24 mass shootings perpetrated by such shooters, according to research by the Violence Policy Center (VPC).

The 24 previous mass shootings are detailed on Concealed Carry Killers, the VPC's online resource that presents examples of non-self defense killings by private individuals legally allowed to carry concealed handguns. Since May 2007, there have been at least 107 innocent victims of mass shootings perpetrated by these concealed carry killers. These figures do not include the shooting at the Navy Yard on Sept. 16 or a July 26 incident in Hialeah, Florida that claimed six innocent lives.

"The gun lobby promises that legally armed civilians are the answer to mass shootings, but the facts prove otherwise," states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. "Concealed carry permit holders don't stop mass shootings, they commit them. This amount of bloodshed demands that states update their concealed carry standards with public safety in mind rather than the convenience of would-be gun carriers."

The Navy Yard massacre is only the latest incident in a deadly pattern. Another mass shooting was perpetrated by a concealed carry killer just this past July in Hialeah, Florida. Pedro Vargas set fire to his apartment, shot and killed six people, and took two others hostage before he was killed by police.

Other recent mass shootings by concealed carry killers include an incident in Seattle on May 30, 2012, when Ian Stawicki opened fire at a cafe and eventually killed five innocent people. On September 27, 2012, concealed handgun permit holder Andrew Engeldinger shot and killed six people at Accent Signage Systems in Minneapolis. On April 21, 2013, concealed handgun permit holder Dennis Clark III shot and killed four people in Federal Way, Washington.

A list of known mass shootings perpetrated by concealed carry killers since May 2007 as identified by the VPC can be found here. This list was last updated in June 2013. Concealed Carry Killers primarily relies on information in news reports 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 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."