Concealed Carry Killers

Concealed carry permit holders are supposed to be the “good guys” with guns.  In reality, far too many permit holders are a direct threat to public safety.

Concealed Carry Killers is a resource maintained by the Violence Policy Center that includes hundreds of examples of non-self defense killings by private citizens with permits to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public that took place since May 2007. These incidents include homicides, suicides, mass shootings, murder-suicides, lethal attacks on law enforcement, and unintentional deaths. Only a tiny fraction of these cases are ever ruled to be in self-defense. Any homicide that is legally determined to be in self-defense is documented and removed from the Concealed Carry Killers database and the ongoing tallies.

Spotlight: Uber Passenger Kills Pedestrian in Pennsylvania
On February 5, 2017, concealed handgun permit holder Derek Vasos, 38, shot and killed Donald Ketter Jr., 28, from an Uber in which Vasos was a passenger. As the Uber drove off it was blocked by Ketter, who was walking down the middle of the narrow road. Vasos, sitting in the front passenger seat, leaned over and honked the horn from inside the vehicle and the two men exchanged words before Ketter moved to the side of the road. As the Uber drove past, Vasos pulled his .380 pistol and fired one shot, striking Ketter. Vasos yelled at the driver, “Drive! Go!,” and the driver drove the car around for 10 minutes as Vasos removed the gun’s ammunition magazine and a round from the chamber and then threw them out the window. As he got out of the car, Vasos ran his finger across his throat and said, “You didn’t see anything, right?” The Uber driver located a police officer and told him what had happened and Vasos was arrested the next day. On October 30, 2017, Vasos was found guilty of third-degree murder. Read more

These incidents are only examples. There is no comprehensive federal database of concealed carry incidents, and some states even bar the release of such information by law. As a result, the examples in Concealed Carry Killers are taken primarily from news reports and from the reporting required in a few states. These examples represent an unknown fraction of similar incidents that routinely occur across the nation.

Currently, Concealed Carry Killers documents 1,049 incidents in 40 states and the District of Columbia resulting in 1,259 deaths. In 90 percent of the incidents (945) the concealed carry killer committed suicide (532), has already been convicted (335), perpetrated a murder-suicide (59), or was killed in the incident (19). Of the 69 cases still pending, the vast majority (57) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, five were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and seven incidents are still under investigation. An additional 35 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder. Twenty-one of the victims were law enforcement officers. Thirty-one of the incidents were mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 147 victims.

More than just numbers, Concealed Carry Killers provides detailed accounts of lethal incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders. Whenever possible, this includes the names of the killers and victims, the legal status of the cases, and the circumstances of the incidents. To find out more, click on the numbers on the left-hand side to view nationwide information, and see the map above to view the incidents by state.

Last updated August 2, 2018

1,259

Total People Killed By Concealed Carry Killers


31

Number of Mass Shootings Committed By Concealed Carry Killers


59

Number of Murder-Suicides Committed By Concealed Carry Killers


21

Law Enforcement Officers Killed By Concealed Carry Killers