SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Gun deaths have fallen in California over a 16-year period ending in 2015, driven largely by a decline in gang violence and falling homicide rates among black and Hispanic male victims, a recent study of firearm violence has found.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis published their findings in the May issue of the journal Annals of Epidemiology after reviewing 50,921 firearm deaths recorded in California between 2000 and 2015. The University provided the study results on Monday.
The report found 24,922 firearm homicides during that period and 23,682 suicides by gun. Researchers say the number of firearm homicides dropped from 4.19 per 100,000 people in 2000 to a low of 3.13 per 100,000 in 2014 before ticking up slightly in 2015.
Researcher Veronica Pear attributed the decline in gun homicides to a reduction of gang violence, particularly in Los Angeles County.
The study also showed a big drop in the number of black men being killed by guns.
Pear said the number of gun homicides involving black male victims dropped 32 percent from the peak in 2005 at 47 per 100,000 people to 31 per 100,000 in 2015. The homicide rate for Hispanic male victims was 6.7 per 100,000 in 2015, a 38 percent decline from its peak of 10.8 per 100,000 in 2005.
The homicide rate of White and Asian male victims held steady throughout the period at roughly the same level of 3 homicides per 100,000 annually.
Pear said she hopes the new research will be used by others studying the cause and effects of gun violence.
"We also hope it can serve as a template for researchers in other states to create similar profiles," she said.
For the last 30 years, the federal government has largely abandoned gun-violence studies after the National Rifle Association prevailed on Congress to significantly restrict funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent to do the research. The NRA said it does not oppose gun research but is against research that it calls biased, flimsy or aimed at advocacy.
A few private foundations and California have recently stepped up funding of gun violence studies. California became the first state to publicly support the research when lawmakers voted to fund U.C. Davis' Violence Prevention Research Program with $5 million over five years.
The Kaiser Permanente health care consortium announced earlier this month it would spend $2 million to study gun violence among its 12 million members.
San Diego Gas & Electric bills are expected to decrease next month due to a settlement involving the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, the utility announced Monday.
The county Medical Examiner's Office will investigate the death of a man found on a sidewalk Sunday near a gate to the U.S. Navy Training Support Center, a city police officer said.
County health officials Monday reminded residents to get the current flu vaccine before the end of October.
The discovery of what appeared to be a bomb in a Hillcrest alley prompted evacuations of nearby apartments Monday and left the area cordoned off until authorities determined that the object was a harmless novelty item.
Residents of an East Village high-rise are on standby after a broken pipe flooded the building. Hundreds of people were forced out of their homes and now they're being told to wait before they can go back in.
A federal judge Monday gave attorneys for San Diego-area Rep. Duncan Hunter and his wife, Margaret, who were indicted on charges they spent more than $250,000 in campaign funds on personal expenses, two months to go through discovery in the case before any future hearing dates are set.
One family's story of true love in the face of cancer, celebrating life's blessings, and spreading positivity.
An SUV crashed into a house in Lakeside Monday, but the driver and a passenger were able to escape without injury.
Hold on to your Lederhosen – The La Mesa Oktoberfest returns for a FREE weekend of elevated German celebrations for all ages September 28-30!
This is the perfect time to get your home ready for the busy season ahead, and think about home maintenance projects that perhaps you put off over the summer.