Gun Homicides in U.S. Down 40% from 1993 to 2014; Lowest Rate in 34 Years

By Terence P. Jeffrey | July 11, 2016 | 3:09pm EDT

( - The number of homicides committed with a firearm in the United States in 2014 was 10,945, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s report on its final data on deaths in this county for that year, which was released on June 30.

The 10,945 firearm homicides in 2014 represented a 40-percent drop from the peak hit in 1993, when there were 18,253 firearm homicides in the country, according to CDC data.

The 10,945 firearm homicides in the United States in 2014 equaled a rate of 3.43 per 100,000 people in the population. That was the lowest firearm homicide rate the United States experienced in any of the 34 years from 1981 through 2014, according to data posted by the CDC on its "Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System" (WISQARS).

The second lowest firearm homicide rate was the 3.54 recorded in 2013, when there were 11,208 gun homicides in the country.

According to the CDC’s data, 1999 and 2000 saw the lowest actual number of firearm homicides in the 1981-through-2014 period--10,828 and 10,801 respectively. But, with a smaller national population than in 2013 and 2014, the firearm homicide rates in those years were higher (3.88 per 100,000 in 1999 and 3.84 and per 100,000 in 2000), according to the CDC.

In 1993, when there were 18,253 firearm homicides in the United States, the rate was 7.02 per 100,000.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics published a report in May 2013—“Firearm Violence, 1993-2011” by Michael Planty, Ph.D and Jennifer L. Truman, Ph.D—that noted that (as per the data available at that point) firearm homicides had declined by 39 percent since 1993.

“There were 11,101 firearm homicides in 2011, down by 39 percent from a high of 18,253 in 1993,” said the BJS report. “The majority of the decline in firearm-related homicides occurred between 1993 and 1998. Since 1999, the number of firearms homicides increased from 10,828 to 12,791 in 2006 before declining to 11,101in 2011.”

As the BJS report pointed out, the 11,101 number for firearm homicides in 2011 was based on the CDC's “[p]reliminary homicide estimates” for that year. The CDC’s final death data for 2011 determined that there were 11,068 firearm homicides that year.

In 2012, firearm homicides rose to 11,622, according to the CDC. Then in 2013, they dropped to 11,208. In 2014, they dropped again to 10,945.

The 2013 Bureau of Justice Statistics report indicated that “[m]ales, blacks and persons ages 18 to 24 were the most likely to be victims of gun violence.” But it also noted that the rate for firearm homicides had decreased for each of these groups since 1993.

“In 2010, the rate of firearm homicide for males was 6.2 per 100,000 compared to 1.1. for females,” said the report. “Firearm homicide for males declined by 49 percent (from 12.0 per 100,000 males in 1993 to 6.2 in 2010) compared to a 51 percent decline for females (from 2.3 per 100,000 females in 1993 to 1.1. in 2010).”

“In 2010,” said the report, “the rate of firearm homicide for blacks was 14.6 per 100,000 compared to 1.9 for whites, 2.7 for American Indians and Alaska Natives, and 1.0 for Asians and Pacifica Islanders. From 1993 to 2010, the rate of firearm homicides for blacks declined by 51 percent, down from 30.1 per 100,000 blacks, compared to a 48 percent decline for whites and a 43 percent decline for American Indians and Alaska Natives. Asian and Pacific Islanders declined 79 percent over the same period.”

“In 2010,” said the report, “the rate of firearm homicide was 10.7 per 100,000 for persons ages 18 to 24, compared to 8.1 for persons ages 25 to 34 and 0.3 for person age 11 or younger. Firearm homicide against persons ages 18 to 34 accounted for about 30 percent of all firearm homicides in 2010. From 1993 to 2010, the rate of homicides for persons age 18 to 24 declined by 51 percent, compared to a 35 percent decline for person age 25 to 34 and 50 percent for person age 11 and younger.”

The June 30 CDC report on its final data for deaths in the United States in 2014 said that a total of 33,599 people were killed by firearms during the year. Of these, 586 were unintentional, 21,334 were suicides, 10,945 were homicides, 270 were undetermined and 464 were categorized as “legal intervention/war.”

The 33,599 total firearms deaths in 2014 equaled a rate of 10.5 per 100,000, according to the CDC.

In 1993, according to the CDC, there were 39,595 total firearm deaths, equaling a rate of 15.23 per 100,000.

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