Active, 2023

National Firearm Attitudes and Behaviors Study

Institute Project
Kid taking a survey

The National Firearm Attitudes and Behaviors Study (NFABS) examines contextual factors, beliefs, practices surrounding firearms among a nationally representative sample of adults age 18 and over. The cross-sectional survey includes information about firearm ownership and motivation, carriage, healthcare and parent interactions about firearms, recent firearm purchase, and storage practices. The web- and paper-based survey aims to identify risk and protective factors across the socio-ecological model, with a particular focus on individuals, families and communities. Results will inform the Institute’s development of firearm injury prevention programs, advance science in the growing field of firearm injury prevention, and expand opportunities for more intensive study of firearm-related disparities.


Growing from a FACTS Consortium pilot project, the National Firearm Attitudes and Behaviors Study (NFABS) is a cross-sectional survey among a nationally-representative sample of adults 18 and over, to understand key factors related to the prevention of firearm injuries among adults and children. The Specific Aims for the project are: 

Aim 1: To characterize the prevalence of firearm behaviors, including access, carriage, use, and lifetime/past year history of firearm-associated outcomes (i.e., non-fatal injuries) among U.S. adults, as well as to understand risk and protective factors associated with these behaviors across socio-ecological levels (individual, peer, family, community). Behaviors will be examined for the full sample and by census region (Northeast, Midwest, West, & South).

Aim 2: To assess perceptions/attitudes towards firearms, community violence, procedural/distributive justice, social cohesion, parenting, discrimination, proposed safety practices and policies (e.g., practice of asking neighbors about firearms in the home, etc.), and healthcare-based screening and counseling (e.g., anticipatory guidance on safe storage, lethal means counseling) among the entire adult sample. 

Aim 3: To assess, among firearm owners, knowledge, attitudes, barriers, and family use/uptake of existing firearm safety practices (e.g., safe storage, trigger locks), novel firearm safety technologies (e.g., RFID/fingerprint technology). 

Research Methods Overview: The project team conducted a cross-sectional nationally representative survey of adults ages 18+ using the Gallup Survey Firm. Survey development and IRB completion will be completed at the University of Michigan and by the NFABS team, while sample recruitment, survey administration, and data cleaning will be completed through our subcontract with the Gallup Polling Organization. Following data collection, cleaning, and weighting procedures, data will be transferred to the University of Michigan for analysis. The study team will subsequently be responsible for data analysis and publication.

Learn more about the survey here.

Project Team

Patrick Carter, MD
Marc Zimmerman, PhD
Daniel Lee, PhD
Rebeccah Sokol, PhD


Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, Office of the VP of Research, University of Michigan

National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)