Garrett McDonough, 415-433-2062×304, [email protected]
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Today Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a gun bill that the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the leading source for policy information on gun legislation, expects will help reduce the number of gun deaths in the state. The bill, California AB 1014, allows family members and law enforcement officers to seek a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) against people who pose a threat to themselves or others.
“We applaud Governor Brown for his extraordinary leadership—and courage—in signing the GVRO bill into law today,” said Law Center executive director Robyn Thomas. “With the passage of this innovative, lifesaving bill, California continues to play a crucial role in preventing gun violence.”
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 to him or herself or others 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
This law prevents a potentially dangerous individual from easily accessing a deadly weapon during a time of crisis, providing time to safely secure appropriate treatment or other help. The GVRO law makes Californians safer by providing families and law enforcement with a smart, innovative tool for preventing deadly shootings before they occur. Moreover, the Law Center, which conducts cutting-edge research on gun laws and tracks firearms legislation in all 50 states, believes that the GVRO law, and similar ones in Indiana, Texas, and Connecticut, can help lead the way to similar smart gun laws in other states that will empower families and make citizens safer.
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.
Learn more about state and federal gun laws, and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence’s take on them, at smartgunlaws.org/gun-policy.
About the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly known as the Legal Community Against Violence) was founded after the 1993 shooting in San Francisco that left eight dead. Today, it is the only national law center focused on providing comprehensive legal expertise in support of gun violence prevention. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the Law Center is dedicated to preventing the loss of lives caused by gun violence by providing trusted, in-depth legal expertise and information on America’s gun laws. The Law Center partners with state legislators, advocates, community groups and others to advance its mission to prevent gun violence in America.