The California Safety and Wellbeing Survey (CSaWS) is an ongoing, all-online survey research project directed by the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center (UCFC) at UC Davis with funding from the State of California. CSaWS provides detailed and timely state-representative data on a wide range of topics related to firearm ownership, preferences, and practices, and exposure to violence and its consequences.

More than 2,500 California adults participated in CSaWS Wave 1 in 2018 and CSaWS Wave 2 in 2020. The samples are weighted to be statistically representative of the adult population of the state.

CSaWS facilitates quantitative comparisons within California over time and between California and the rest of the country, helps to guide state and local violence prevention and intervention strategies, and serves as a model for similar data collection efforts and data-informed decision-making in other states.

Below you will find links to survey findings in peer-reviewed academic journals, as well as corresponding two-page fact sheets to support your own work.


CSaWS Wave 2 – July 2020


Public Concern About Violence, Firearms, and the COVID-19 Pandemic in California 

We looked at associations between the COVID-19 pandemic and changes in individuals’ worry about violence happening to themselves or others, the prevalence of and reasons for firearm and ammunition acquisition, and changes in firearm storage practices and found that the pandemic and efforts to lessen its spread have compounded the public health burden of violence.

View a summary of the results here and read the complete study in JAMA Network Open (January 2021). 

Read coverage of these findings in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.



Public Awareness of and Personal Willingness to Use California's Extreme Risk Protection Order Law to Prevent Firearm-Related Harm

We asked respondents if they had heard of a gun violence restraining order (GVRO) or “red flag” order. Although these tools have been available in California since 2016, two-thirds of California adults had never heard of them. We also assessed respondents’ willingness to use these tools to prevent firearm-related harm, both in general and when a family member is at risk, as well as reasons for being unwilling. After reading a brief description of GVROs, majorities of respondents, including gun owners and non-owners in homes with guns, said they would be somewhat or very willing to use them.

View a summary of the results here

Read the complete study in JAMA Health Forum (June 2021).


CSaWS Wave 1 – September/October 2018

CSaWS_Brief_Kravitz-WirtzFirearm Ownership and Acquisition in California: Findings from the 2018 California Safety and Wellbeing Survey

We asked Californians if they owned firearms and when, where, and how they got them. An estimated 4.2 million California adults personally own a gun, and an additional 3.1 million live in a home with someone else who does.

View a summary of the results here

Read the complete study in Injury Prevention (December 2019).


California Public Opinion On Health Professionals Talking With Patients About Firearms

We asked Californians how appropriate it is for doctors and other health professionals to talk with their patients about gun safety under a variety of circumstances.

View a summary of the results here

Read the complete study in Health Affairs (October 2019).


CSaWS_Brief_SchleimerFirearm Ownership in California: A Latent Class Analysis

We asked people who owned firearms about the types of guns they own, why they own them, and how they store them. Using a statistical technique called Latent Class Analysis, we identified five classes of firearm ownership in California differentiated by these gun ownership-related characteristics.

View a summary of the results here

Read the complete study in Injury Prevention (October 2019).


Public Opinion On Firearm Injury Prevention Proposals in California

We asked Californians whether they supported or opposed two firearm policy proposals.

View a summary of the results here

Read the complete study in JAMA Open Network (January 2020).

ViolenceGender_Tomsich_Sept2020Firearm Ownership Among LGBT Adults in California

This study presents results from the first, detailed state-specific examination of firearm ownership among LGBT adult residents of California.

View a summary of the results here

Read the complete study in Violence and Gender (September 2020).


Exposure to Violence, Firearm Involvement, and Socioemotional Consequences Among California Adults

We asked California adults whether they or someone in their household had experienced violence, whether a firearm was present, and about the impacts on their social and emotional wellbeing.

View a summary of the results here

Read the complete study in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence (December 2020).


Additional CSaWS Papers

Kravitz-Wirtz N, Pallin R, Kagawa R, Miller M, Azrael D, Wintemute G. “Firearm Purchases Without Background Checks in California.” Preventive Medicine. Published Online First: 02 January 2021. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2020.106414.

Schleimer J, Wintemute G, Kravitz-Wirtz N. “Firearm Ownership and Perceived Risk of Personal Firearm Injury.” Injury Prevention. Published Online First: 03 September 2020. doi: 10.1136/injuryprev-2020-043869.

Schleimer J, Pallin R, Wintemute G, Charbonneau A, Kravitz-Wirtz N. “Patterns of Firearm Ownership and Opinions on Firearm Policies Among Adults in California.” JAMA Network Open. July 2020. 3(7):e2012096. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.12096.

CSaWS_MythsJan2020Dispelling Myths about Firearm Violence

The lack of research on firearm-related harm contributes to misconceptions about the problem. In the fall of 2018, CSaWS asked Californians what they knew about firearm injury and death: who is dying from firearms, by what intent, and more. 


View the myths and truths, last updated in January 2020. 

This content is solely the responsibility of the studies' authors and does not necessarily represent the views of the University of California Firearm Violence Research Center.