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Survey Examines Gun Safety and Gun Violence Fears Across Population Groups
More than five million California adults, or 17.6% of the population, keep a firearm at home, with gun use most prevalent among veterans and people in rural areas.
Overall, 12.9% of California residents reported being “very worried” about being a victim of gun violence, with concerns about gun violence highest among immigrants (24%) and young adults (14.3%).
The findings come from the 2021 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), which surveyed adults and adolescents in California. The survey included questions about guns in the home and fear of gun violence.
The study by UCLA Center for Health Policy Research was funded by the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research. A fact sheet detailing the initial findings was released by UCLA today.
The survey results showed having a gun in the home was more prevalent among rural households (31.9%) than urban (16.2%), and among veterans (38.1%).
Most gun owners reported using a trigger lock and cable lock or locked container (72.5%) to store guns at home, but 7.7% of adult gun owners reported having a firearm at home that was loaded and unlocked.
Veterans were most likely to have a gun at home loaded and unlocked (13.9%) compared to non-veterans (6.8%). Veterans were also least worried about gun violence, with 4.4% reporting being “very worried”.
Immigrant populations were less likely to have a gun at home (7.7%) and were the population group most concerned about gun violence.
The survey also looked at gun use and gun violence fears among lesbian, gay, or bisexual adults, and transgender or gender-nonconforming adults.
The UCLA study authors said the findings showed that despite California having some of the strongest gun regulations and seventh lowest gun death rate in the U.S, gun safety and concerns about gun violence were still prominent issues for residents.