Gun accidents killed fewer Californians during 2009 than in any other year in at least a decade, according to new data from the state Department of Public Health.
Firearm accidents caused 31 deaths during 2009, down from 36 in 2008. Such deaths have steadily fallen since peaking during 2005.
Californians under 24 are the most likely age group to die from the accidental discharge of firearms. Two children under 15 were killed during firearm accidents in 2009.
Homicides involving firearms also decreased from 2008 to 2009, reflecting the falling number of murders in the state.
But suicides involving firearms continued to increase. Almost 1,500 Californians killed themselves with guns during 2009, up about 175 from 2005. More Californians died from suicides involving firearms last year than died from homicides involving firearms.