Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Study: 7 cops, 44 citizens killed by concealed gun permit owners

By Stephen C. Webster

The Violence Policy Center, a Washington, D.C. gun control advocacy group, released a study Monday morning which outlines two years of violence by holders of concealed handgun permits.

The study finds that in 31 incidents from May 2007 through April 2009, legal gun owners killed 44 private citizens and seven police officers. In six of the incidents, the shooter later committed suicide.

"Because most state systems allowing the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private citizens release little data about crimes committed by permit holders, the VPC reviewed shooting incidents as reported by news outlets," the group noted in a media advisory. "It is likely that the actual number of fatal criminal incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders is far higher."

The group's findings comes as the U.S. Congress prepares to consider an amendment to the Defense Authorization Act that would create a federal "free to carry" system, allowing licensed concealed handgun owners freedom to travel between states with their firearms. The amendment is sponsored by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and David Vitter (R-LA).

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