A Gun Facts fan asked what we know about concealed carry licencees and negligent discharges (accidental discharges).
Frankly, there isn’t much out there. I wish there were concise statistics on this subject, but such events are rare enough that nobody in government, criminology or epidemiology finds it worth the trouble to investigate.
The best we can do is triangulate some other numbers.
a) According to the CDC, in the most recent reporting year, there were 606 accidental firearm deaths. Not all of these were really accidents and not all were negligent discharges. There is no breakdown, but Gary Kleck’s Targeting Guns cites one set of studies (investigative reports by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company) that note most accidental gun deaths were due to dumb behavior (not negligent discharge) – people drunk, playing with guns, walking into a hunter’s line of fire, etc.
b) There are about 11 million CCW holders in the USA and an adult population of around 240 million. So worst case possibility would be that CCW holders (4.5% of the adult population) could have caused 28 accidental deaths. But as noted, the percentage of deaths by negligent discharge is unknown and a tiny fraction of all gun deaths.
Offhand, I’d say this is a real non-problem. There are no wide-spread news reports of CCW negligent discharges. This is likely due to the fact that CCW holders are largely law abiders, safety nuts, NRA types … people who know and are routinely safe with guns.
If anyone does happen across solid negligent discharge data, I’d love to see it.