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: Mass Shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
On January 6, 2017, concealed handgun permit holder Esteban Santiago, 26, allegedly opened fire in the baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport killing five and wounding six others. A witness said that the shooter reloaded his Walther 9mm pistol before running out of ammunition. The suspect then sat on the floor and waited to be arrested. The shooter had arrived on a Delta flight from Alaska and had his handgun in his checked baggage. Santiago reportedly had a history of mental health problems. Santiago was held on federal firearms and airport violence charges while awaiting formal charges to be filed. 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 729 incidents in 40 states and the District of Columbia resulting in 928 deaths. In 83 percent of the incidents (604) the concealed carry killer committed suicide (296), has already been convicted (235), perpetrated a murder-suicide (56), or was killed in the incident (17). Of the 95 cases still pending, the vast majority (81) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and 10 incidents are still under investigation. An additional 30 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder. Seventeen 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 March 22, 2017


Total People Killed By Concealed Carry Killers


Number of Mass Shootings Committed By Concealed Carry Killers


Number of Murder-Suicides Committed By Concealed Carry Killers


Law Enforcement Officers Killed By Concealed Carry Killers