Over the 11 years of the study, at least 335,609 Americans were killed by guns. (The CDC data almost certainly understates the true toll of gun violence, the researchers wrote.) These deaths include murders, suicides and accidental shootings.
The number of deaths varied slightly per year, but the changes were small enough that they could have been due to chance, according to the research team from Columbia University and the Jacobi Medical Center in New York.
The story was the same for 41 states, where the rate of firearm-related deaths was basically stable over the 11 years. But the death rate rose in two states – Massachusetts and Florida – and fell in seven others, as well as in the District of Columbia.
California was singled out in the study for having “the most marked reduction” in the rate of gun deaths. The researchers said this could be the result of tough antigun laws, including eight aimed at preventing gun trafficking. They noted that the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence ranked California top among all states for its laws on background checks, waiting periods, restrictions on who may own a gun and consumer and child safety. (California also benefited from a reduction in homicides of all sorts, with the overall homicide rate falling 25.4% between 2001 and 2010.)