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Gun violence in US has fallen dramatically over past 20 years, Justice Dept. report finds

Gun violence in America has fallen dramatically over the past two decades, and the number of murders committed with a firearm is down too, though guns are still by far the leading type of crime weapon, according to a new report from the Justice Department.

As for where crime guns came from, the study notes that less than two percent of convicted inmates reported buying their weapons at gun shows or flea markets. The highest number, 40 percent, said the guns came from a family member or a friend. About 37 percent said the weapons were stolen or obtained from an illegal source. The rest say the guns were bought at a retail store or pawn shop.


Murders committed with a gun dropped 39 percent to 11,101 in 2011, from a high of 18,253 in 1993, according to the report. 

Other crimes committed with guns were down even more sharply — from 1.53 million in 1993 to 467,300 in 2011, a drop of 70 percent, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Around 70 percent of murders were committed with a firearm, and of those, the vast majority involved a handgun -- fluctuating between 70-80 percent.

The report is strictly factual and offers no analysis about the reasons for the decline in gun violence.