US Gun Homicides at 20-Year Low, Surveys Say
Gun homicides in the United States have fallen sharply since peaking in 1993, two studies have found.
The federal Bureau of Justice Statistics said firearms-related homicides had dropped to 11,101 in 2011 from 18,253 - a reduction of 39%.
Meanwhile, the Pew Research Center found gun homicides fell to 3.6 per 100,000 people in 2010 from 7 in 1993.
The figures were released three weeks after US senators rejected proposals to extend background checks on gun sales.
President Barack Obama has campaigned for tighter firearms laws after 26 people died in a school shooting in Connecticut in December.
Both reports found the rate of non-lethal crimes involving guns had also fallen significantly over that period.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics, an office of the justice department, found that non-fatal firearms crimes dropped by 69% from 1.5 million to 467,300 during the period under study.
However, the justice department study also suggested that the percentage of US homicides committed with a firearm had held steady at around 70% between 1993-2011.