Press Release from The Violence Policy Center (VPC)
Washington, DC–A Florida mass shooting that resulted in the murder of four women, an innocent 17-year-old gunned down by a 61-year-old man in a case of mistaken identity, and a bass player from a cover band accused of murdering the female host of the party where his band was playing are among the June additions to Concealed Carry Killers, a Violence Policy Center (VPC) on-line resource that tallies news reports of killings by concealed handgun permit holders.
Since May 2007, concealed handgun permit holders have killed at least 175 individuals–including nine law enforcement officers–in 26 states.
Of the 104 incidents that resulted in the deaths, in half (52) the concealed handgun permit holder has already been convicted or committed suicide after the shooting. Of the 52 cases still pending, the vast majority (46) are charged with criminal homicide, two were unintentional shootings, three are still under investigation, and one involved a concealed handgun permit holder who was also shot and killed during the incident. Of the 104 incidents, 16 were mass shootings.
A summary of each of the 104 incidents is available here. Clicking on each category leads to a state-by-state breakout for the incidents with current known status. To review all killings by concealed handgun permit holders, click on “Total People Killed by Concealed Handgun Permit Holders.” While the incident summaries of the few concealed handgun permit holders who are eventually found not guilty of their crimes are listed on the site, those numbers are not included in the VPC’s totals.
Among the new incidents included in the June update are:
Florida: On June 6, 2010, permit holder Gerardo Regalado, 38, committed Hialeah, Florida’s worst mass shooting: killing four women, including his estranged wife, and wounding three others at the Yoyito Cafe-Restaurant. Regalado killed himself after the attack.
Missouri: In May 2010, concealed handgun permit holder Johnnie Pulley, 61, was convicted of shooting and killing 17-year-old Brandon Colenburg after Pulley mistook Colenburg for the person who had beaten him on a public transit bus in April 2009. The mother of one of Colenburg’s friends testified that he had been at her home at the time of the original assault on Pulley.
Pennsylvania: On June 12, 2010, Paul Hansen, bass player for the cover band Disorderly Conduct, allegedly shot and killed Melissa Barnes, 28, the host of the party where the band was performing. Barnes had reportedly confronted Hansen after being told that he had threatened a party guest. Hansen allegedly drew a 40 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun and shot Barnes once in the head.
Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonald v. Chicago earlier this week, the gun lobby is already threatening to challenge restrictions on the carrying of concealed weapons. These incidents clearly demonstrate why states and local governments must be able to prohibit the carrying of concealed handguns. The alternative is to force states and cities to license mass shooters, cop killers, vigilantes, and suicidal individuals to carry guns in public.”
Because most state systems that allow the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private citizens release little data about crimes committed by permit holders, the VPC reviews and tallies concealed handgun permit holder killings primarily as reported by news outlets. It is likely that the actual number of fatal incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders is far higher.