There are more than 8 million permits to carry concealed weapons in the United States, but only an estimated 3 million people actually exercise that right: less than 1% of the population. According to a new report from the FBI, that 1% stopped 8% of all active shooters in the country between 2014 and 2017.
However, the Crime Prevention Research Center released a report showing at least seven other instances of armed citizens stopping active shooters, bringing the total to at least 13.5%. In none of these attacks did the concealed carrier strike an innocent bystander, or end up being mistaken for the perpetrator by police. A list of these instances is pasted below, but these are just a few of the hundreds of thousands of defensive gun uses annually, in very specific circumstances.
Defense In Depth thanks West Virginia concealed carriers for taking on this responsibility, and we encourage capable citizens to be prepared to confront a shooter in a worst-case scenario like these. Our Active Shooter Class ($30) is for individuals who would like to learn how to implement a safety plan for your environment, how to quickly identify a dangerous situation and react accordingly, and the basic knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to survive an active threat, whether armed or unarmed.
It is important to remember that carrying a gun is not the only way to prepare for the worst. Defense In Depth can also provide an on-site, in-depth assessment of your business, school, or house of worship to identify a thorough preparation plan to ensure the safety of those who have chosen not to carry firearms. Ask for our Director of Training, Nick DeMedici, to discuss details about your location.
Some Active Shooters Stopped By Concealed Carriers
- 1. Schlenker Automotive
On November 17, 2017, at 4:30 p.m., Robert Lorenzo Bailey, Jr., 28, armed with a handgun, allegedly began shooting in the parking lot of Schlenker Automotive in Rockledge, Florida. The manager of the auto repair shop and an employee, both possessing valid firearms permits, exchanged gunfire with the shooter. One person was killed; one was wounded. The shooter, shot twice during the exchange, was held at gunpoint by the manager until law enforcement arrived and took him into custody.
- 2. First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas
On November 5, 2017, at 11:20 a.m., Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, armed with a rifle, exited his vehicle and began shooting outside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. He then entered the church and continued shooting at members of the congregation. The shooter exited the church and was confronted by a citizen who possessed a valid firearms permit. The citizen shot the shooter twice, causing the shooter to drop his rifle and flee the scene in his vehicle. The armed citizen, together with the owner of a pickup truck, pursued the shooter. The chase ended when the shooter’s vehicle struck a road sign and overturned. Twenty-six people were killed; 20 were wounded. The shooter committed suicide with a handgun he had in his vehicle before police arrived.
- 3. Townville Elementary School
On September 28, 2016, at 1:45 p.m., Jesse Dewitt Osborne, 14, armed with a handgun, allegedly began shooting at the Townville Elementary School playground in Townville, South Carolina. Prior to the shooting, the shooter, a former student, killed his father at their home. Two people were killed, including one student; three were wounded, one teacher and two students. A volunteer firefighter, who possessed a valid firearms permit, restrained the shooter until law enforcement officers arrived and apprehended him.
- 4. Burnette Chapel Church of Christ
On September 24, 2017, at 11:15 a.m., Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, armed with two handguns, allegedly began shooting in the parking lot of the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tennes- see. After killing one person, the shooter entered the church and shot six people. A citizen who attempted to subdue the shooter was pistol-whipped. During the altercation, the shooter accidently shot himself. While the shooter was preoccupied, the citizen, who possessed a valid firearms permit, retrieved a handgun from his car and held the shooter at gunpoint until law enforcement arrived. One person was killed; seven were wounded. The shooter was apprehended by law enforcement.
- 5. Multiple Locations in Clearlake Oaks, California
On October 23, 2017, at 11:23 a.m., Alan Ashmore, 61, armed with a shotgun and a handgun, allegedly began firing into several homes and a vehicle in Clearlake Oaks, California, killing two people, including his father, and wounding one. Another person was wounded while fleeing out of a residence window. The shooter then shot and wounded a responding law enforcement officer before fleeing in his vehicle. The shooter drove to a nearby gas station and exchanged gunfire with the vendor, who possessed a valid firearms permit. The shooter fled the scene in his vehicle and drove to another gas station where he fired more shots.
- 6. Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center
On July 24, 2014, at 2:20 p.m., Richard Steven Plotts, 49, armed with a handgun entered his psychiatrist’s office at Sister Marie Lenahan Wellness Center in Darby, Pennsylvania, and began shooting, killing his caseworker and wounding his doctor. The doctor, who possessed a valid firearms permit, returned fire. One person was killed; 1 was wounded. Employeesrestrained the wounded shooter until law enforcement arrived.
- 7. North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago
On April 19, 2015, at 11:50 p.m., Everardo Custodio, 21, armed with a handgun, began shooting into a crowd of people on North Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago, Illinois. No one was killed or wounded. A citizen with a valid firearms permit shot the suspect and restrained him until law enforcement arrived and took him into custody.
- 8. Conyers, Georgia, Sunday, May 31, 2015, The Rockdale Citizen
A customer who fired back at the suspect who killed two people in a Ga. Highway 20 liquor store Sunday afternoon is being hailed as a hero. Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett said at a press conference Monday that Todd C. Scott, 44, a resident of Covington, very likely prevented other customers in the store from losing their lives.Levett said store video from Magnet Bottle Shop showed that the suspect, Jeffrey Scott Pitts, 36, came in the store Sunday afternoon firing a handgun. Pitts fled after another patron, Todd C. Scott, of Covington, opened fire with his own hand gun. It is still unclear whether Aikens died before or after Scott returned fire with Pitts, but the sheriff credited Scott with saving lives.“I consider him to be a hero,” [Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett] said.
- 9. Arlington, Texas, May 3, 2017 (Dallas Morning News)
A concealed carry holder is being heralded as a “hero” by Arlington police for preventing mass murder by killing an “incoherent” gunman at a bar Wednesday evening.Before he was shot about 6:15 p.m., the gunman killed the manager of Zona Caliente in the 6500 block of South Cooper Street, police spokesman Christopher Cook said. “After he was struck once, the suspect started shooting at the front door,” Cook told the Arlington Voice. “We know people were trying to escape, but we’re not sure if he was just trying to harm others.”More than a dozen customers and a handful of employees were in the sports bar at the time of the shooting. Cook said the customer, who was dining with his wife, “prevented further loss of life.”
- 10. Lyman, South Carolina, June 30, 2016 (Fox Carolina)
Just a couple of weeks after the infamous Orlando massacre, a man, 32-year-old Jody Ray Thompson, started shooting at another nightclub in South Carolina. Fortunately, unlike in Florida, permitted concealed handguns were allowed in bars. Before the attacker could shoot a fourth person, a permit holder was able to shoot back, wounding Thompson in the leg.“His rounds struck 3 victims, and almost struck a fourth victim, who in self-defense, pulled his own weapon and fired, striking Thompson in the leg,” Lt. Kevin Bobo said.
- 11. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 22, 2015, NBC Channel 10
A 40-year-old man was inside Falah Barber Shop Inc. on the 600 block of Preston Street shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday when police say he began fighting with another person inside. . . .The fight quickly escalated and the 40-year-old man took out his gun and opened fire on customers and barbers, police said. As he was shooting, another man outside heard the gunfire, ran into the shop and took out his own gun, according to investigators. He then opened fire, striking the 40-year-old man once in the chest. . . .“The person who responded was a legal gun permit carrier,” said Philadelphia Police Captain Frank Llewellyn. “He responded and I guess he saved a lot of people in there.“
- 12. Portland, Oregon, January 11, 2014, Oregonian
Thomas Eliot Hjelmeland, 43-years-old, was ejected from a nightclub, but returned 30 minutes later with a gun and wearing a mask. He shot the bouncer who had ejected him and shot at others. The bouncer was critically wounded by a shot to the head. Two others were also wounded: one patron in the foot and a waitress, who had been standing at the front of the club, in both of her legs. Hjelmeland was on probation at the time of the incident. Bouncer Jonathan Baer used his permitted concealed handgun to fatally shoot Hjelmeland, who had continued firing at people around the club.
- 13. New Holland, Wisconsin, May 5th, 2015, Fox Carolina
In this case, the permit holders didn’t even have to fire their guns. Firefighters said Chad Barker pulled up to their crowded fire station parking lot full of children and firefighters, got out of his car, and began firing in the air and at his vehicle. They say he also pointed the firearm at individual firefighters for lengthy periods of time.“I came out of the office, saw the man with the gun, told everybody to leave out the back quickly that there was a man in the parking lot with a gun, and I was not kidding,” said Gary Knoll, a firefighter for New Holland.Knoll said he and another firefighter who have concealed weapons permits pulled their guns on the gunman.Knoll said Barker returned to his vehicle and firefighters carefully followed him with their weapons still drawn. After encouraging Barker to put the gun down, Knoll said Barker ultimately complied and Knoll grabbed the gun. . . .