Honoring and lifting the voices of those grievously impacted by gun violence, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) recognizes this week as the fifth annual national Gun Violence Survivors Week.
A gun violence “survivor” encompasses anyone who has personally experienced gun violence, whether as a witness, threatened or wounded by a firearm, or had someone they cared about injured or killed by a firearm.
The recent tragedies in California in Monterey Park and other areas, are horrific reminders that no state, place or person is immune to the devastating impacts of gun violence.
Still, California continues to lead the nation in gun safety laws and invest in additional policies and resources to protect Californians.
As the state honors the survivors and those impacted by gun violence, Cal OES wants to remind all Californians about the life-saving tools available to them, including the state’s Gun Violence Restraining Order, or “red flag” law. A temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order has been available to Californians since 2016 and, within the first three years of its implementation, has been used to help prevent 58 threatened mass shootings in the state, according to UC Davis research.
This type of order temporarily prevents someone from accessing guns when they’re at risk of harming themselves or others. It gives those in crisis and loved ones time to pause, providing space for people to get the help they need in these moments. Taking a pause deescalates emergency situations and helps prevent tragedies to keeps communities safe.
Those Closest to a Person in Crisis May See Warning Signs First
Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill to expand the list of Californians who can file a Gun Violence Restraining Order, effective as of January 1. This list now includes:
- A family member
- A household member/roommate
- A coworker
- A teacher or employee at a middle school, high school, college or university
- Law enforcement, including California peace officers
- An individual who has a child in common or who has a dating relationship with the person in crisis
Applying for Gun Violence Restraining Orders
Californians who are concerned that someone is a risk to themself or others and has access to a gun may apply for a temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order or learn more about the tool at California Courts Judicial Branch of California.
All required documents to file for a temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order are available from your local Superior Court and online.
Once you have obtained the required documents, the California Courts website provides a step-by-step guide for properly filing a Gun Violence Restraining Order.