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Individual, Family, and Community Factors of Gun Violence Affecting California Communities


This study will advance knowledge on gun violence related to firearm ownership, storage practices, and perceptions of gun safety, and fill critical data gaps about risk factors for gun suicide and urban gun violence related to understudied and disproportionately impacted subpopulations such as youth/young adults, veterans, immigrants, and LGBT people.




This research is aimed at improving the understanding of socioeconomic, demographic, and environmental risk and protective factors associated with gun ownership, firearm storage practices, and nonfatal suicidal behavior in California by collecting information on firearms via the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS).


This study adds a firearms module in the CHIS 2021 and 2022. The CHIS is the largest population-based state survey in the nation, which annually collects information on 20,000 adults and adolescents representative of the diverse California population. Attached to over 200 questions on sociocultural domains, social determinants of health, mental health, suicide ideation and health status, health access and health behavior, and neighborhood safety and social cohesion, the CHIS will identify intervenable individual, family, and neighborhood factors associated with risk factors for gun homicides and suicides. The data will be made available to researchers and the public through multiple dissemination tools, including policy briefs on gun issues in key population groups: youth and young adults, immigrants, LGBT, and veterans.


Adding firearm questions in the CHIS will establish a strong foundation for future studies on mitigating risk for populations disproportionately burdened by firearm-related deaths. The CHIS's large sample, comprehensive sociocultural content and multilanguage administration will provide insights on the understudied populations of youth and young adults, veterans, LGBT, and immigrant populations.


  • Despite California’s Strong Gun Laws and Regulations, Issues of Gun Safety and Fears of Gun Violence Remain

    View research [PDF]
  • Firearm Access, Storage Practices, and Suicidal Ideation Among California Veterans in 2021

    View research [PDF]
  • Firearm Storage Practices Among Latino and Asian Immigrants in California

    View research

Investigator Bios

  • Ninez Ponce, MPP, PhD is professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and director of its Center for Health Policy Research. She leads the California Health Interview Survey, the nation's largest state health survey, recognized as a national model for data collection on race/ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity and immigrant health. In 2019 Dr. Ponce received the AcademyHealth Impact award for her contributions to population health measurement to inform public policies.
  • Michael A. Rodriguez, MD, MPH is professor and vice chair in the Department of Family Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and co-director of the UCLA Firearm Violence Prevention Center. Dr. Rodriguez has been funded as PI or co-PI on violence prevention research grants from NIH, CDC and foundations. He has 28 years of experience working on violence prevention issues including both Latino and Asian native and immigrant communities.
Grant Amount
Award Type
UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
Ninez A. Ponce, professor, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health; and Michael A. Rodriguez, professor and vice chair, Department of Family Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
Year Awarded
Focus Areas
Domestic Gun Violence
Gun Suicides
Urban Gun Violence