May 7, 2013

Reports show gun homicides down since 1990s

Alan Fram/Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Gun homicides have dropped steeply in the United States since 1993, a pair of reports released Tuesday showed, adding fuel to Congress' battle over whether to tighten restrictions on firearms.

click image to enlarge

Jorge Corbato, 48, owner of Nebulous Ordnance, holds a M-16 rifle that he is servicing for a law enforcement official, Tuesday, April 9, 2013, in Miami. Corbato is a gun manufacturer who custom builds AR-15 rifles, services guns, and restores historic pieces for museums and collectors. Since the Sandy Hook school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, Corbato says the supply for components needed to build the AR-15 has gone down, while prices have gone up. Lawmakers in Congress hope to gain a Senate floor vote on meaningful gun restrictions this week. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

AP

A study released Tuesday by the government's Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun-related homicides dropped from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011. That's a 39 percent reduction.

Another report by the private Pew Research Center found a similar decline by looking at the rate of gun homicides, which compares the number of killings to the size of the country's population. It found that the number of gun homicides per 100,000 people fell from 7 percent in 1993 to 3.6 percent in 2010, a drop of 49 percent.

Both reports also found the rate of non-fatal crimes involving guns was also down by around 70 percent over that period.

The trend in firearm-related homicides is part of a broad nationwide decline in violent crime over past two decades, including incidents not involving firearms.

The Justice study also said that in 2011, about 70 percent of all homicides were committed with a firearm, mainly a handgun.

The data was released three weeks after the Senate rejected an effort by gun control supporters to broaden the requirement for federal background checks for more firearms purchases. Senate Democratic leaders have pledged to hold that vote again, and gun control advocates have been raising public pressure on senators who voted "no" in hopes they will change their minds.

Gun rights advocates have argued that people are safer when they are allowed to own and carry guns. Those supporting gun control say that with more background checks, gun violence would drop because more criminals and mentally unstable people would be prevented from getting weapons.

Were you interviewed for this story? If so, please fill out our accuracy form

Send question/comment to the editors




Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • Type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • Exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)