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: Murder-Suicide in Iowa
|On June 15, 2019, concealed handgun permit holder Chandrasekhar Sunkara, 44, shot and killed his wife Lavanya Sunkara, 41, and their two sons Prabhas, 15, and Suhas, 11, before taking his own life in their home in Des Moines, Iowa. A family friend told media, “We are told that Chandrasekhar (Chandu) had purchased the gun 10-15 days ago when he apparently planned the homicide.” A family member said Sunkara has been depressed due to the ill-health of his older son. Four family members were staying in the home as guests, but none were injured. 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 1,140 incidents in 40 states and the District of Columbia resulting in 1,371 deaths. In 89 percent of the incidents (1,020) the concealed carry killer committed suicide (534), has already been convicted (404), perpetrated a murder-suicide (62), or was killed in the incident (20). Of the 81 cases still pending, the vast majority (68 of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and nine incidents are still under investigation. An additional 39 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder. Twenty-four of the victims were law enforcement officers. Thirty-five of the incidents were mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 167 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 April 29, 2020