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Debunking the Violence Policy Center's "Mass Shootings Committed by Concealed Carry Killers"

11/12/2015
The March 2015 Violence Policy Center report "Mass Shootings Committed by Concealed Carry Killers" claims that concealed handgun license holders in
the United States have committed at least twenty-nine mass shootings since May 2007. However, the report identifies only one shooting for which licensed
concealed carry was likely a factor, and the shooter in that instance had a criminal record that made him ineligible to possess a firearm (a database error
resulted in him being issued a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms, despite his ineligibility).
The VPC report claims, "A mass shooting is defined as the killing of three or more people consistent with the federal definition contained in the
'Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012.'" In reality, the "Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012" does not define "mass
shooting"; however, it does define "mass killing" as "3 or more killings in a single incident." The VPC report identifies twenty-nine such killings purportedly
carried out by concealed handgun license holders. Fourteen of those mass killings involved only the minimum of three victims, and the report does not
differentiate between killings committed with handguns and killings committed with other firearms, between killings committed in a public place where the
perpetrator would have needed a concealed handgun license to lawfully possess a handgun and killings committed in the perpetrator's home, between killings
committed where licensed concealed carry was legal and killings committed where it wasn't, or between killings that were crimes of passion made possible only
because the killer was already lawfully carrying a handgun and killings that were premeditated and for which a concealed handgun license offered no legal or
strategic advantage and was not an enabling factor. Furthermore, the report uses very loose criteria (typically media reports) in ascertaining whether or not each
perpetrator possessed a valid concealed handgun license, and there is evidence that several of the perpetrators did not.
Although the VPC report is obviously intended to show that licensed concealed carry represents a clear and present danger to public safety, an
examination of these twenty-nine incidents reveals twenty-six for which there is virtually no probability that licensed concealed carry was a factor, two for which
there is a low probability that licensed concealed carry was a factor, and one for which there is a moderate to high probability that licensed concealed carry was
a factor. The one incident for which there is a moderate to high probability that licensed concealed carry was a factor resulted in only three murders (the
minimum to qualify as a "mass killing"), involved a perpetrator who should have been ineligible to obtain a concealed handgun license, and took place during a
confrontation at the home of the perpetrator's ex-wife.
The following chart breaks down the twenty-nine mass killings listed in "Mass Shootings Committed by Concealed Carry Killers." Please note that the
chart does not list all relevant criteria for each incident. For example, if evidence clearly shows that a shooting was premeditated but does not immediately show
whether the shooter possessed a valid concealed handgun license, the chart lists only that the shooting was premeditated, in explaining why licensed concealed
carry was not a factor.
KEY:
RED - Likely that licensed concealed carry was a factor.
ORANGE - Unlikely that licensed concealed carry was a factor.
GREEN - No likelihood that licensed concealed carry was a factor. This includes shootings that were clearly premeditated, began in or took place entirely in the
shooter's home, began with or were committed entirely with a weapon other than a handgun, began in or took place entirely in a location where licensed
concealed carry was not legal, or were part of a lesser premeditated crime (i.e., robbery or hijacking) gone wrong.

DebunkingTheViolencePolicyCenter's"MassShootingsCommittedbyConcealedCarryKillers"
Perpetrator
1.MichaelMcLendon
2.OmarThornton
3.PedroVargas
4.GerardoRegalado
5.PaulMichaelMerhige
6.GuillermoZarabozo
7.CharlesJohnston
8.JasonKennethHamilton
9.KennethAllenKeith
10.FerdariusShine
11.TroyBrake
12.AndrewEngeldinger

13.JiverlyWong
14.FrankGarcia
15.CraigStephenHicks
16.WilliamMaxwell
17.TerranceHoughJr.
18.KevinM.Cleeves

19.GeorgeSodini
20.RichardPoplawski
21.PaulCliffordMooreJr.

Victims

Waslawful,licensedconcealedcarryafactor?

10 No.Theshootingbeganattheperpetrator'shome.
8 No.Policesaidtheperpetrator,knowinghewasbeingcalledintoadisciplinaryhearing,usedhislunchboxto
sneaktwogunsintohisgunfreeworkplace.Thisindicatespremeditation.
6 No.Theshootingbeganattheperpetrator'shome.
4 No.Theperpetratorplannedtheattack,whichapparentlytargetedhiswife.
4 No.Theperpetrator,whoboughthisgunsthedaybeforetheshooting,saidhe'dbeenplanningtheattackfor
years.
4 No.Themassshootingwaspartofaplannedhijackingofacharterboat.
3 No.Theshootingwaspremeditated.
3 No.Theshootingbeganintheperpetrator'shome.Theshooter'scriminalrecordshouldhaveprecludedhimfrom
owningafirearm,muchlessobtainingaconcealedhandgunlicense.
3 No.Theshootingoccurredduringapremeditatedrobbery.
3 No.Theshootingtookplaceattheperpetrator'shome.Theperpetratorandhisdaughterhadlivedwithhis
grandmother,inthehomewheretheshootingoccurred,sincehelosthisjobandhousetheyearbefore.
4 No.Theshootingwaspremeditated.Theperpetratorshotthreeofthevictimssothathecouldsexuallyassaultthe
fourth.Thefourthwasthenbeatentodeath.
6 Unlikely.Theperpetratorreportedlyretrievedhisgunafterrealizinghewasgoingtobefired,suggestingthatthe
shootingwaspremeditated.Also,theonlyevidencethathehadaconcealedhandgunlicensewasalicense
applicationfoundinhishouse,indicatingthathewasprobablystillintheprocessofapplying.
13 No.Theshootingwaspremeditated.Also,theperpetrator's"licensetocarry"wasdesignatedfor"TARGET
SHOOTINGHUNTING"only.
4 No.Theshootingwaspremeditated.
3 No.Theshootingwaspremeditated.
3 No.Theshootingtookplaceattheperpetrator'shome.
3 No.Accordingtoprosecutors,theperpetratorwasdeterminedtokillwhenheemergedfromhishomeandshot
threepeopleinaneighboringyard.
3 Likely.Theperpetratorcarriedahandguntohisexwife'shouse,toconfrontheraboutcustodyoftheirdaughter.
Whentheexwife'sboyfriendrefusedtohandoverthedaughterandtoldhimtoleave,theperpetratoropened
fire.Atthetimehisconcealedhandgunlicensewasissued,theperpetratorhadanoutstandingwarrantfor
domesticabuse,whichshouldhaveprecludedhimfromowningafirearm,muchlessobtainingaconcealed
handgunlicense;however,adatabaseerrorallowedthePennsylvanialicensetobeissuedanyway.
3 No.Theshootingwaspremeditated.
3 No.Thiswasapremeditatedshootingcommittedattheperpetrator'shome,witharifle.Anactiverestraining
orderagainsttheperpetratorshouldhaveinvalidatedhisconcealedhandgunlicense.
3 No.Theshootingoccurredattheperpetrator'shome.
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DebunkingTheViolencePolicyCenter's"MassShootingsCommittedbyConcealedCarryKillers"
22.MichaelJoeHood
23.TanDo
24.JustinMatern
25.ChristopherSpeight
26.AaronPoseidonJackson
27.DennisClarkIII
28.IanStawicki

29.AaronAlexis

3
5
3
8
3
4
5

No.Theshootingoccurredattheperpetrator'shome.
No.Accordingtopolice,thiswasapremeditatedshooting.
No.Theshootingwaspremeditated.
No.Thisshootingbeganattheperpetrator'shomeandinvolvedarifle,notahandgun.
No.Theshootingwaspremeditated.
No.Theshootingbeganattheperpetrator'shome.
Unlikely.Theperpetrator,carryingtwohandgunsandatleastfiveextramagazines,walkedintoarestaurantfrom
whichhe'dbeenbanned,waiteduntilhewasconfrontedbyanemployee,andthenopenedfire.Theamountof
gunsandammocarriedbythesuspect,coupledwiththefactthatheshothisvictimsexecutionstyle(not
indicativeofacrimeofpassion),suggeststhatthiswassomethinghe'dplanned.
12 No.ThiswasapremeditatedshootingthattookplaceonaU.S.militarybase(whereconcealedcarryisnot
allowed),inacitythat,atthattime,didnotallowanyformoflicensedconcealedcarry.

ADDED01/30/2017:
30.RyanClarkPetersen

31.EstebanSantiago

3 Undetermined.Theperpetratorretrievedahandgunfromhisvehicle,withtheintentofreturningtoalocation
wherehehadbeenprohibitedfromcarryingagun,tokillthepeoplewhokickedhimout.Alabamalaw,unlike
thelawinmoststates,requiresalicensetocarryinordertokeepaloaded handguninamotorvehicle;however,
thelawdoesnotrequirealicensetokeepanunloadedguninavehicle,and,althoughhavingtoloadthegun
probablywouldnothavemadeadifference,thereisnowayofknowingiftheperpetratorwouldhavehadthegun
ifhe'dbeenrequiredtokeepitunloaded.
3 No.Thisshootingtookplaceina"gunfree"airportinFlorida.Furthermore,noneofthesourcescitedbythe
ViolencePolicyCenterindicatethattheshooterhadalicensetocarry.

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