The number and rate of firearm murders has hit a new low since the sky-high gun killings during the 1990s, with California topping an FBI list despite having some of the toughest anti-gun laws on the books.

Data from the FBI and Pew Research Center show that all gun violence has declined since the Clinton era, though suicides blamed on guns has ticked up.

In a new report, Pew said that between 1993 and 2000, the firearm murder rate dropped by almost half, from seven homicides to 3.8 homicides per 100,000 people. It also said that all gun deaths -- murder, suicide, police and accidental -- have dropped 30 percent since 1993.

The FBI data shows that the actual number of gun murders has dropped from 10,129 in 2007 to 8,454 in 2013. California had the most at 1,224, though it has several anti-gun laws in force.

The FBI also reported that the overall murder rate in the United States has declined. About three quarters of all murders involve firearms. "In 2013, the estimated number of murders in the nation was 14,196. This was a 4.4 percent decrease from the 2012 estimate, a 7.8 percent decrease from the 2009 figure, and a 12.1 percent drop from the number in 2004," said the agency.

The numbers again point to the irony in the media and among some in the public that gun violence is up, an opinion that helps drive the call for gun control.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.