CANBERRA, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- Gun violence rate in the United States soared by 30 percent during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australian news website The Conversation has said.

A total of 51,063 incidents of gun violence resulting in injury or death were reported in the United States in the first 13 months of the pandemic, a big rise from 38,919 in the same time span before the pandemic, it said.

Gun sales in the United States also grew early in the pandemic, with more than 20 percent of the purchases made by first-time buyers, it added.

"This sharp increase in firearm purchases raises serious concerns, since the combination of increased stress, social disruption and isolation during the pandemic created a perfect storm of conditions that could contribute to increased gun violence," the report said.

The report also found that gun violence rates in 28 states, or 56 percent of all states across the United States surged significantly, with Minnesota recording the highest increase of 120 percent.

"The spike in gun violence in the era of COVID-19 comes as a stark reminder that greater public health resources are needed to address and prevent gun violence, even as we continue to work to mitigate the pandemic," said the report.