On September 30, Governor Jerry Brown signed California AB 1014, a new law that allows family members and law enforcement officers to seek a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO), also known as a Firearms Restraining Order, against people who pose a threat to themselves or others.
As learned from the tragic Isla Vista shooting, shooters may exhibit certain warning signs of impending violence, but those behaviors may not be severe enough to allow authorities to take preventive action. Those in the best position to see and recognize these warning signs—immediate family members—are left without legal means to intervene. The GVRO law addresses this glaring problem by allowing concerned family members, as well as law enforcement officers, to obtain a Gun Violence Restraining Order, which is modeled on California’s effective domestic violence prevention laws.
If a judge determines someone to be a risk and issues a GVRO, that order will:
- Temporarily prohibit that person from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition
- Allow law enforcement to temporarily remove any firearms or ammunition already in that person’s possession
- Include procedures to allow the person have his or her guns and ammunition returned
The bill, endorsed by the Law Center and sponsored by Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, passed by a wide margin in the state legislature in August. It joins a growing number of smart, common-sense gun policies that continue to give California the strongest gun laws in the United States.