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The nonprofit Violence Policy Center, which advocates against gun violence, has documented 37 mass shootings that were carried out by people who had concealed carry permits between May 2007 and May 2022, citing media reports.
The Violence Policy Center defines a mass shooting as a shooting that kills three or more people.
Weeks after massacres in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, Fox News host Greg Gutfeld falsely claimed that nobody with a concealed carry permit had ever committed a mass shooting.
The comment came as Gutfeld and the co-hosts of "The Five" discussed the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down a New York law that put limits on carrying a concealed firearm in public.
"I think about mass shooters," Gutfeld said June 23. "I don't believe — and someone correct me later, I won't listen — but I don't believe anybody with a concealed carry permit ever committed a mass shooting. So I think the ban itself had no role in preventing these things, right?"
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Here’s the correction Gutfeld asked for: His claim is wrong.
Concealed carry laws, which are on the books in about half the states, are laws that require a permit to carry a firearm in public. Jaclyn Schildkraut, who researches mass shootings as an associate professor of criminal justice at the State University of New York, Oswego, said there is no national registry of concealed carry permits across those states.
But a "two-second Google search" shows Gutfeld’s claim is "inaccurate," Schildkraut said.
"Absolutely, wholly inaccurate," added Kristen Rand, government affairs director for the nonprofit Violence Policy Center, which tracks such cases as part of its focus on reducing gun violence.
Citing news reports that indicate when a mass shooter had a concealed carry permit — including articles from Fox News’s own website — the Violence Policy Center counted 37 mass shootings by concealed carry permit holders between May 2007 and May 2022.
The list includes the accused shooter who killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018. It includes a 2017 shooting that killed three people at a Florida airport, and a 2019 shooting in which 13 people, including the shooter, died in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The Violence Policy Center defines a mass shooting as a killing of three or more people; that’s in line with the definition used under a 2013 federal mandate to investigate such attacks following the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. There is no legal definition of a mass shooting, PolitiFact previously reported.
Fox News did not respond to a request for comment.
Daniel Webster, who co-authored a 2020 study from Johns Hopkins University, told NPR in May that his research does not support the argument that carrying guns for self defense can help stop mass shootings.
"The data do not bear that out at all," said Webster, co-director of the Center for Gun Violence Solutions at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. "If anything, it shows higher rates of fatal mass shootings in response to weaker regulations for concealed carry by civilians."
A report Schildkraut wrote in 2018 said handguns were used in about three out of every four mass shootings. "It’s difficult to conceal anything other than a handgun due to size," she told PolitiFact.
Gutfeld said, "I don't believe anybody with a concealed carry permit ever committed a mass shooting."
That’s inaccurate; there have been several such cases, including the 2018 mass shooting that left 11 dead at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Citing media reports, the nonprofit Violence Policy Center has counted 37 mass shootings that were committed by concealed carry permit holders since 2007.
We rate this claim False.
Fox News, "The Five," June 23, 2022
Media Matters for America, "Fox host falsely claims that no person with a concealed carry permit has ever committed a mass shooting," June 23, 2022
New York Times, "Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law Limiting Guns in Public," June 23, 2022
Crime Prevention Research Center, "UPDATED: Compiling Cases where concealed handgun permit holders have stopped likely mass public shootings," May 27, 2022
Violence Policy Center, "Mass Shootings Committed By Concealed Carry Killers," May 17, 2022
SUNY Rockefeller Institute of Government, "Can Mass Shootings be Stopped? To Address the Problem, We Must Better Understand the Phenomenon," July 2021
Criminology and Public Policy, "Evidence concerning the regulation of firearms design, sale, and carrying on fatal mass shootings in the United States," Jan. 30, 2020
The Heritage Foundation, "Debunking the Myth of 'Concealed-Carry Killers,'" Nov. 5, 2019
PolitiFact, "How many mass shootings have occurred since Uvalde tragedy?" June 10, 2022
Email interview with Jaclyn Schildkraut, associate professor of criminal justice at the State University of New York, Oswego, June 27, 2022
Email interview with Kristen Rand, government affairs director for the Violence Policy Center, June 27, 2022
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