TN Handgun Permit Holders Have Killed 13 People, Report Says

The Violence Policy Center cites 10 Tennessee cases since December 2008 in which 13 people have died when shot by handgun-permit holders, reports ‘Action’ Andy Sher. In five of the 10, the shooters were convicted of murder, and in a sixth the man killed his girlfriend then killed himself.
“The gun lobby’s worldview is the good guy is always stopping the bad guy,” said Kristen Rand, legislative director for the Violence Policy Center. “I think we’re just seeing the exact opposite.”
Rand, whose group culled much information from news accounts of shootings, arrests and court proceedings, called the Tennessee figures the “tip of the iceberg.”
Nationwide, the group estimates that, since May 2007, at least 381 people — including 11 law enforcement officers — have been killed by permit holders in incidents not considered as legitimate self-defense by police.
John Harris with the Tennessee Firearms Association, a gun-rights group, questioned basing the information on news accounts.
“First, by law, the Tennessee Department of Safety has to track data concerning handgun-permit holders who are charged with crimes and the disposition of those crimes,” said Harris, an attorney.
He said the Violence Policy Center’s “reliance on news reports, which seldom track dispositions, is suspect because they’re intentionally selecting less reliable data as to how many of these permit holders were wrongfully charged in shooting incidents as opposed to those [deemed] justifiable.”
He noted permit holders must pass criminal background checks and complete an approved handgun safety course.
Rand said the group relies on news accounts because many states either don’t collect the data or else don’t make it publicly available.
Violence Policy Center data, as well as additional reporting by the Chattanooga Times Free Press and other news organizations, show five permit holders in Tennessee have been convicted of first-degree murder or second-degree murder out of the total 10 cases the group found. Charges are pending in three other cases.
In a ninth case, a Memphis permit holder shot his girlfriend to death, then committed suicide as police prepared to arrest him on murder charges, according to news accounts.
In the 10th case, an apparent road rage incident in June, a Middle Tennessee permit holder shot another motorist in Ashland City. Despite being wounded in his chest and hip, the other man managed to wrestle the gun from the permit holder and shoot him dead, said Ashland Detective Jason Matlock. The wounded driver has been indicted for voluntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

One thought on “TN Handgun Permit Holders Have Killed 13 People, Report Says

  1. Dave

    Well Let’s see we now have over 100,000 legally armed tennesseans and 10 cases is all they can come up with. I think that many could be found against so called highly trained police. I guess i am too stupid to do the math but I am pretty sure it equals a fraction of 1 tenth of a percent. Boy the media is so sharp they amaze me on a daily basis. At least their sheer stupidity does.

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