Pew: Public Unaware of Gun Violence Decline


Most Americans are unaware of the country’s two decade-long decline in gun violence from its peak in 1993, according to a Pew Research Center report released yesterday.

Pew researchers analyzed studies and surveys about firearms violence trends during the last 50 years and public perception of violence for its report.

In a survey conducted by Pew between March 14 and March 17 of this year, 56 percent of respondents said they believed the number of crimes involving a gun is higher than it was 20 years ago. Just 12 percent said they believe it is lower.

Firearm-related homicides dropped 39 percent between 1993 and 2011, and nonfatal firearm crimes fell 69 percent during the same period, according to a report by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) that was also released yesterday.

Editors Note: To read coverage of yesterday's BJS report by The Crime Report's Washington DC bureau chief, Ted Gest, click HERE.

Much of the decline in firearm-related homicides occurred in the 1990s. Rates remained stabled between 2001 and 2007, but began a slow and steady decline in the last half-decade, according to Pew.

However, when asked about recent trends in gun violence, 45 percent of Americans think gun crimes are on the rise, according to Pew.

To read the report, click HERE.

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