WASHINGTON — A new report says that concealed carry permit holders have been responsible for nearly 30 mass shootings in fewer than 10 years.
People who possessed concealed carry firearms reportedly carried out “29 mass shootings of three or more people” since 2007. The Washington Post, citing data from the Violence Policy Center, reports that perpetrators of these crimes have included Craig Hicks, who in February killed three of his neighbors in North Carolina; Aaron Alexis, who allegedly opened fire at the Washington Navy Yard in 2013, killing 12 people; and Jiverly Wong, who killed 13 immigrants and service center employees at the American Civic Association in Binghamton, N.Y., in 2009.
The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham asserts that the organization’s figures may even be a little low. Writes Ingraham:
The Violence Policy Center’s numbers are likely an under-count, too. After all, hundreds of mass shootings happen in this country each year. If a shooter’s permit status doesn’t get mentioned in media reports, we usually don’t know it.
The perpetrators are a minority among many law-abiding citizens who have liscenses to carry guns — a demographic to whom gun-rights advocates often look as a curb for gun violence
Ingraham notes that the organization’s data do not prove the concealed carry permits helped facilitate the crime. But his article goes on to consider the claim that armed citizens can help stop mass shootings as an “oversimplification.”
For example an FBI report in 2014 said that among 160 shooting incidents, only five were stopped by armed individuals who were not law enforcement. Nearly four times as many (21) were curbed by unarmed citizens restraining the offender.
There have however been some high-profile cases of a law-abiding citizen with a concealed weapon thwarting an attack.
One example occurred in Chicago this spring, when an Uber driver carrying a licensed gun shot a gunman in Logan Square.