As the number of states allowing people to carry guns has increased, reports of injuries and deaths have also risen.
Just last week, a churchgoer in Pennsylvania — in possession of a concealed carry permit and a some sort of badge to prove it — intervened in an already settled spat between congregation members over reserved church seating. The man, Mark Storms, approached Robert Braxton, showed him a gun on his belt and a gold badge, then asked him to leave, reported the Associated Press. Braxton threw a punch, then Storms fired two shots, killing the man.
Storms was charged with voluntary manslaughter, the AP reported.
Last fall, a Detroit woman with a concealed carry permit fired at a fleeing shoplifter outside a Home Depot. She was later sentenced to 18 months of probation and stripped of her concealed gun permit. She told a TV station that she “will never help anybody again.”
Around that same time, a customer at a Southside Chicago bodega fired at a robbery suspect wearing a mask and brandishing what looked like a real gun. It wasn’t, but the shots fired by the customer, a concealed carry permit holder, killed the robbery suspect. Soon after, police announced that charges against the customer were unlikely.
On Monday, a new Tennessee law was passed allowing full-time employees at the state’s public colleges and universities to carry handguns on campus.
Since 2007, the number of Americans holding concealed carry permits has nearly tripled, rising from 4.6 million to 12.8 million in 2015.