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By Dean Weingarten

Gun Watch

Gun Watch

Arizona - -(Ammoland.com)- In 1994, when Arizona started its shall issue concealed carry weapon (CCW) program, there was considerable interest in how many and what types of homicides would be related to the new law.

I started teaching classes for the Arizona CCW permit when it went into effect, and I immediately noticed that my students were well above average in attitude, responsibility, and civility.   They always pitched in to assist in setting up where necessary, and their personal checks have always been good.

When the first statistics became available, I eagerly digested the information. One person with a CCW permit had committed a homicide, although not with a concealed weapon.  It was a domestic situation, and the perpetrator was a retired police officer.

The question arose, how often do police officers commit homicide compared to concealed carry permit holders?   Of the two, which is more common?

It appears that a person is three times safer with a concealed carry permit holder than they are with a police officer.

Attempting to determine how the homicide rate of people with CCW permits compares to that of police officers is not an easy task.   There are several sources that show that people with CCW permits are far more law abiding than the general population.

One would like to believe that the same is true for police officers, but data is much harder to obtain for them. Agencies that employ sworn officers do not like to tarnish their name with the misdeeds of officers, and unlike a few states that track crimes committed by CCW permit holders, I do not know of any government database of crimes committed by peace officers.

The best reported crimes are homicides.  It is a significant event that is difficult to ignore. There is usually a body.  Media usually reports all the homicides that they learn of.

I found two sources of data that seem roughly comparable:  One being the anti-gun Violence Policy Center (VPC) ( http://www.vpc.org/fact_sht/ccwtotalkilled.pdf ) who attempts to track all homicides that are committed by CCW permit holders.   The data is incomplete, in that it relies on publicly reported stories, but it gives us a useful figure.  It does not seem likely that many reported stories are missed. (we can also assume by the source that VPC data is biased against lawful  gun owners)

For police, I used a web site that tracks domestic homicides committed by police officers, and another that does the same for police involved domestic violence.   The data is comparable to the VPC data in that it relies on publicly reported stories.  Data was available for complete years from 2008 – 2011 for comparison of the two groups.

Florida was chosen to represent CCW permit holders, because accurate numbers of permits were obtainable from the Florida Department of Agriculture.   Florida has the highest total of CCW permits of all the states, and the number of resident concealed carry permits in Florida is reasonably close to the number of sworn state and local peace officers in the United States.

The Violence Policy Center (VPC) says that Florida tops the nation in killings by people with concealed carry permits. VPC has complete years in their data base for 2008 – 2011 for Florida.  There are 27 total killings that are unjustified homicides by CCW permit holders, and 14 of those are domestic homicides.    The rate of domestic homicides per 100,000 per year is .583 per 100,000 for CCW holders.

The homicide rate nationally dropped  from 5.4 to 4.7 per 100,000 during this period, and the Florida homicide rate dropped from 6.4 to 5.2 per 100,000. Since we are only looking at CCW holders in Florida, we would expect those rates to be a bit higher than the national rate for this period

When we look at the numbers for sworn officers, I found 52 domestic homicides committed by sworn police officers from 2008 – 2011.  For the police, nationally from 2008 through 2011, the rate is 52/2,818,924 or  1.854/100,000 domestic homicides per 100,000 police per year.

For the data that we have, police appear to be three times as likely to commit murder as a concealed carry permit holder.

If we include all unjustified homicides (suicides were not included) found in Florida by the VPC for CCW holders for the entire four years, the rate is only 27/2,400,713 or  1.125 per 100,000 population per year.   This is comparable with the homicide rates in developed western European countries.   It is 61% of  the rate for police officers for domestic homicides alone.

There are no complete and definitive sources of data that will give us an accurate ratio of unjustified homicides committed by police compared to CCW holders.  The numbers are very small and no one keeps a national record of them.

However, the numbers found for domestic homicide cases, which are some of the easiest solved and most highly publicised cases, offer strong evidence that CCW permit holders are less likely to commit unjustified homicide than police officers, as little as one third as much.

 

©2013 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch

About Dean Weingarten;
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973.  He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 17 User comments to “Police Officers Three Times More Likely to Murder Than Concealed Carry Permit Holders”

    1. Hopalong on October 8, 2013 at 9:34 AM said:

      If thats true, whos going to protect us from the cops.

    2. The title is misleading … According to the content, is should be “Police officers three times more likely to murder than concealed carry permit holders. Please fix the error.

    3. Buck Crosby on October 8, 2013 at 12:40 PM said:

      Today there is NOTHING so lax as the vetting process for law enforcement officers , the proof being in the number of cowardly seal wannabes in departments around the country , Of course the vetting process for a presidential candidate is apparently non-existent .

    4. Article posted at Libertarian International Org Twitter https://twitter.com/LIBIntOrg

    5. Dean, one question: I’m guessing Florida has the highest number of permit holders because the Florida permit receives reciprocity in so many other states, making it advantageous for inter-state travel. Does your analysis factor out the out-of-state residents who have FL permits?

    6. homebru on October 9, 2013 at 9:50 AM said:

      Law Enforcement Officers much more likely to commit Unlawful Imprisonment of senior citizens in national park hotel or to unlawfully interfere with the right of free passage down a highway that happens to pass through a nation park. Or to prohibit visiting open-air monuments to heroes.

      Unhappily, we could play this game all night.

    7. […] Police officers are three times more likely to commit murder than carry permit holders […]

    8. Matt,

      The numbers are for resident Florida permit holders.

      Perhaps I could have emphasised it more, but it does say so in paragraph 11 of the article and in the data link.

    9. This article uses the terms “murder” and “homicide” interchangeable. That only tells me you are poorly equipped to write an article about this. I won’t be citing it.

    10. […] Police Officers Three Times More Likely to Murder Than Concealed Carry Permit Holders In 1994, when Arizona started its shall issue concealed carry weapon (CCW) program, there was considerable interest in how many and what types of homicides would be related to the new law. […]

    11. Liberty4Ever on October 16, 2013 at 8:49 AM said:

      I’ve seen some solid data from aggregated state concealed carry permit statistics and police statistics from the US Department of Justice that demonstrate that you’re 10 times more likely to be the victim of a violent crime involving a gun from a police officer than a person with a concealed carry permit. Now I see this data that indicates that you’re 3 times more likely to be murdered by the police than a person with a concealed carry permit. So, if the police are ten times more likely to shoot at you and three times more likely to kill you, can we also infer that people with a concealed carry permit are 3.3 times better shots than the police?

    12. Three times AS likely, not three times MORE likely. In other words (and symbols) the frequency P of a police officer committing murder is greater then the frequency C of a conceal permit holder committing murder according to the relation P=3C. The meaning of ‘three times MORE likely’ is P=4C, that is, the DIFFERENCE between P and C is three times the value of C. This isn’t what these numbers show. therefor, three times AS likely.

      The sloppier we are with our use of language, the harder time we have to communicate or to (!)agree on anything.

    13. Jim Jones on November 9, 2013 at 8:40 PM said:

      Not just the street cops:

      On April 26, 2003, Tacoma, WA, Police Chief David Brame fatally shot his wife, Crystal, then himself. The couple’s 8-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son were sitting a few feet away in their father’s car.

      Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/04/21/2566672/the-crime-that-changed-tacoma.html#storylink=cpy

    14. Who would want to be a cop today? You could well find yourself in a situation where you have to enforce some of the nonsense coming out of legislatures across this once great country. If you’re a cop in uniform today you’re likely perceived as the face of the “regime”.

    15. […] The Idaho Statesman’s opinion on the matter emphasized the importance of responsibility over rights, which would have been refreshing if the staff had thought a bit more critically before hitting the “print” button. The editorial board worried about “armed students in a heated classroom discussion or at a tailgating party (outside of an arena) where alcohol is being served; [and] the possibility of weapons theft,” apparently forgetting that off-duty law enforcement are hardly immune to the same concerns. If we’re concerned about people using guns during an argument, we’re concerned first and foremost with psychopaths – whether they carry a badge or a student ID. (I don’t know the data for Idaho, but it looks like in Florida you’re three times more likely to be murdered by law enforcement than by a citizen with a conceale….) […]

    16. Radar on July 8, 2014 at 7:16 PM said:

      Power Corrupts without Accountability.

    17. […] Rob – If you have to point a loaded firearm at someone during a road rage incident, make sure you are a Los Angeles police officer.  The officer was photographed as she drove with her gun drawn and pointed at the drivers-side window.  The victim gave the photograph to the police and the image went viral.  I’m sure the female officer will be investigated and absolved by the LA police department’s office of internal affairs.  You or I would go to jail for the same offense.  Furthermore, police officers are three times MORE likely to commit murder than a concealed carry permit holder. […]

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