The number of Americans killed by firearms in 2016 was an unprecedented number.
It came after a year of gun violence that saw nearly 500,000 Americans die from firearm-related deaths.
At the same time, however, there were fewer gun deaths than in any year since 2007, according to data from the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
There were nearly 1.2 million firearm deaths in 2016, according the bureau, compared to 1.8 million deaths in 2015.
The figures were released by the Bureau on Friday as President Donald Trump and other Republicans renewed their calls for tougher gun control laws.
“It’s a horrific situation, and it’s a terrible problem to be in,” Mr Trump said at a press conference in the Rose Garden, where he announced a review of how to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill and the dangerous.
“And yet we have the highest murder rate in the world, and yet we haven’t had more gun deaths.”
Gun violence has long been a divisive issue in America, with both Democrats and Republicans increasingly calling for stricter gun laws.
But the US has had some of the world’s strictest gun laws in the developed world for decades, including a ban on assault weapons and a requirement for background checks on all gun sales.
The number and severity of gun deaths have become a political football in the US.
At a White House news conference on Friday, Mr Trump reiterated his calls for stricter laws.
“It’s not a coincidence that when you look at the data, the homicide rate is higher in places that have a lot of gun laws, including the states that have the strictest laws,” he said.
“So I think that’s a very good sign.”
Gun deaths have risen since Mr Trump took office in January.
But they have remained stubbornly low compared to other major American cities, and even to those in other western nations.
In 2015, New York City saw a 9.5 per cent rise in gun deaths.
Los Angeles recorded a 4.8 per cent increase.
Boston saw a 6.3 per cent jump.
But it is not just the US that has seen a significant increase in gun violence since Mr Obama took office.
In 2015, California recorded its highest death toll ever, at nearly 11,000, according a Los Angeles Times investigation.
A report released last month by the Washington Post found that the number of gun-related homicides in the state had increased by nearly 10,000 since 2010.
The numbers in America are not all comparable, as the US Department of Justice does not have the same data that the Bureau does.
But experts say the numbers of deaths have been rising steadily since Mr Barack Obama took over as the nation’s first black president in 2009.
Gun-related murders peaked in 2009, but have since dropped, according of the BJS.
In 2016, the number had increased to nearly 12,000.
The Washington Post investigation found that more than half of the people who died from firearms in the United States in 2016 were men, including about 40 per cent of the victims of domestic violence.
Women accounted for about 30 per cent, with African-Americans and Hispanics making up the rest.
The US is one of only three countries in the western world with no gun laws on the books.
But Mr Trump’s proposal for tighter gun laws is not expected to stop the increase in violence.
“The US gun violence rate is not rising at all.
We have been a lot safer since we have had stricter gun control, and we’re continuing to see that increase,” said Stephen A Smith, a professor of criminology at Johns Hopkins University.
A report released by New York State Police last month found that gun homicides in New York have risen in recent years, even as overall gun crime has fallen.
New York City police reported an average of 4,724 gun homicides each year in the first three months of 2017, up from 3,912 the previous year.
But in the last year, the police said they have recorded 2,566 murders, down from a record high of 6,957 in 2016.
The NYPD said it was “working to reduce the number” of killings, which it said were “very difficult to prevent”.
Gun deaths rose in cities across the country after Mr Trump became president, and many Democrats are now calling for tighter laws.
The New York Police Department has said it will hire 200 officers and equip them with body cameras to help catch gun offenders.
But Mr Trump has said the US should consider taking action on other issues as well, including mental health and criminal justice reform.