SACRAMENTO – While it’s normally the happiest time of the year for many Californians, the holiday season can turn into a tragedy as firearm violence is more likely to occur than any other time of the year.
As California continues to lead the way in protecting children and loved ones from gun violence, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) wants to remind all Californians about the life-saving resources available to them, including the state’s Gun Violence Restraining Order law.
This law allows for the temporary removal of guns and ammunition from individuals who are at risk of harming themselves or others. This law provides loved ones, teachers and school administrators, and employers, the opportunity to intervene and prevent someone in crisis from accessing firearms.
Californians who can file a Gun Violence Restraining Order, also known as “eligible petitioners,” include:
- Family members and loved ones related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
- Recent household members and roommates
- A coworker who has had regular interactions with the at-risk person for at least one year, with approval from the employer.
- A teacher or employee at a middle school, high school, college or university that the at-risk person has attended in the last six months, with approval from a school administrator or supervisor.
- Law enforcement, including California peace officers
Going into effect January 1, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law to expand the list of who can file a Gun Violence Restraining Order, to now include someone who has a child in common, an individual who has a dating relationship, or a roommate.
California’s Data on Gun Violence Restraining Orders
California issued 3,007 temporary Gun Violence Restraining Orders from 2016 to 2020 and is considered a powerful tool to prevent mass shootings. Research from UC Davis shows they have been used in 58 threatened mass shootings in California.
This law is also helpful in preventing firearm suicides, which account for more than half of the country’s gun deaths. For example, after Connecticut increased the enforcement of its red flag law, one study found the law to be associated with a 14-percent reduction in the state’s firearm suicide rate.
Applying for Gun Violence Restraining Orders
Californians who are concerned that someone is a risk to themselves or others and has access to a gun may apply for a Gun Violence Restraining Order or learn more at California Courts Judicial Branch of California.
All of the required documents to file for a 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.