Our Grants

The Role of Community and Individual Firearm Accessibility in Intentional Firearm Injury

Overview

This study aims to determine whether community-level firearm access is associated with individual risk of firearm violence victimization and, conversely, whether temporary removal of firearm access from high-risk individuals is associated with reduced firearm violence rates.

Status

Awarded

Purpose

This project seeks to quantify the degree to which access to firearms is associated with firearm violence by examining community-level firearm accessibility via firearm dealers, exploring joint effects of firearm dealers and alcohol outlets, and examining the targeted restriction of firearm access through gun violence restraining orders (GVROs).

Approach

  • Conduct two cumulative case-control studies with comprehensive statewide data on fatal and nonfatal intentional firearm injuries, firearm purchasing, and alcohol outlets in California to determine whether community access to firearms (alone or in conjunction with alcohol) is associated with individual risk of firearm violence victimization.
  • Use novel causal inference methods incorporating machine learning to estimate the marginal risk difference of firearm violence under hypothetical exposures to varying levels of firearm dealer density (or dealer and alcohol outlet density).
  • Conduct a quasi-experimental synthetic control analysis to estimate the effect of California's GVRO law on the rate of firearm violence in San Diego County, which has issued a plurality of orders in the state.
  • Apply weights to counties in California with little-to-no GVRO use to approximate a counterfactual of San Diego in the absence of GVROs.

Significance

This study will further our understanding of the role of community- and individual-level firearm accessibility on firearm violence. Findings could inform local interventions to prevent firearm violence through zoning of firearm dealers and alcohol outlets and will provide among the first quantitative evaluations of California's GVRO law.

Investigator Bio

Veronica Pear is a PhD candidate in epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley and is a Research Data Analyst at UC Davis' Violence Prevention Research Program. She holds master's degrees in public health (UC Berkeley, 2016) and philosophy (UC San Diego, 2012). Her work, largely informed by social epidemiology and causal inference, is broadly focused on identifying the causes and consequences of firearm violence and evaluating firearm policies.

Grant Amount
$25,000
Award Type
Dissertation
Organization
University of California, Berkeley
Investigator
Veronica Pear, epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley
Expected Completion Date
July 2021
Year Awarded
2020
Focus Areas
Urban Gun Violence