OBJECTIVE: To present the descriptive epidemiology of gun-related eye injury in the United States from 1993 through 2002. METHODS: Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System was used to estimate the number of patients treated in the United States for gun-related eye injury (GEI) (air guns and firearms), air gun-related eye injury (AEI) (BB/pellet guns and rifles) and firearm-related eye injury (FEI) (all powder discharge guns) during the time period 1993 through 2002. Rates were calculated according to age, gender, race, weapon type and circumstances surrounding the injury event (e.g., locale and intent). RESULTS: The rate of gun-related eye injury in the United States declined to 7.5 per 1,000,000 in 2002 from 14.8 per 1,000,000 in 1993, representing a decline of approximately 5.4% per year (p = 0.0002), due primarily to a decline in the rate of FEI (6.7% per year, p = 0.029). The rate of AEI was relatively constant. GEI rates were highest among those aged 10-19 years, males, and Blacks. The overall rate of AEI was higher than the rate of FEI (6.0 per 1,000,000 and 5.1 per 1,000,000, respectively). According to race, the rate of FEI was higher than the rate of AEI in Blacks whereas the rate of AEI was higher than the rate of FEI in Whites and Hispanics. The majority of GEIs occurred at home and were unintentional. CONCLUSION: The rate of gun-related eye injury in the United States declined from 1993 through 2002 primarily due to a reduction in firearm-related eye injury, whereas the rate of air gun-related eye injury remained constant. Persons who were young, Black, and male were at highest risk for gun-related eye injury.