RICHMOND, Va. - State figures show firearm-related homicides and injuries are declining in Virginia.
Figures from the state's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner show firearms-related homicides fell 32 percent, from 357 in 2005 to 242 in 2011.
Virginia Department of Health figures show firearm-related injuries requiring hospitalization declined 28 percent, from 392 to 283, during the same period.
The Richmond Times-Dispatch ( http://bit.ly/W8DWm0) reports that the medical examiner's latest annual report on firearm-related homicides has a new category for assault rifles.
Previous reports listed assault rifles in the rifle category.
Forensic epidemiologist Dr. Anna Noller says one of the staff's pathologists thought assault rifles were different enough that they should be placed in a separate category.
The report lists one assault rifle homicide in 2011.
Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com
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