NEW YORK (AP) – Gun deaths have fallen in California over a 16 year period ending in 2015, driven largely by a decline in gang violence, a recent – and rare – scientific study of firearm violence 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 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.