Today, Cal OES remembers the 13 lives lost during the Borderline shooting in Thousand Oaks on November 7, 2018. The gunman opened fire as the Borderline Bar was hosting a popular College Country Night event. Prior to the incident, the gunman had been visited by a mental health crisis team.
In California, loved ones and law enforcement can petition the court for a Gun Violence Restraining Order to remove firearms from those who are at risk of violence to self or others.
While no law can prevent every tragedy, there is a growing body of evidence that California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order law can save lives. In the first three years of California’s law, officials used it to remove guns from 58 people who threatened to commit mass shootings, according to a recent study.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Gun Violence Restraining Order?
- It is a civil order issued by a court when someone is at risk of violence to self (including suicide) or others. A person who is subject to this order cannot purchase or possess guns while the order is in place.
- Once this order is filed with the court, the individual’s firearms are removed from the home to reduce the chance of self-harm or harm to others.
- Once this order is terminated or expires, the respondent can request the return of their guns. Law enforcement will run a background check to make sure that the respondent is not prohibited from possessing firearms for any other reason and then return the firearm(s).
Who can file one in California?
- Family members and loved ones related by blood, marriage, or adoption
- Law Enforcement
- Recent household members/roommates
- A coworker, who has had substantial and regular interactions with the person for at least one year if the coworker has obtained approval from the employer to file this petition.
- An employee or teacher at a secondary or postsecondary school that the person named in the petition has attended in the last six months if the employee or teacher has obtained approval from a school administrator or administrative staff member with a supervisorial role to file this petition.
What are the steps for obtaining one?
- Contact law enforcement to obtain a petition from your local Superior Court or online.
- Complete and submit the petition and other necessary paperwork.
- If the judge issues an initial order, it is recommended that a law enforcement officer serve the order.
- Attend the hearing scheduled by the court. The hearing will be scheduled 21 days from the date the judge issues or denies the order.