In 2016, California passed a law that allowed concerned family members, roommates and law enforcement officers to petition the court for a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) against someone who poses a danger to themselves or others.
If a GVRO is issued against you, you are required to get rid of any firearms or ammunition you have in your possession and you are prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns or ammunition for up to one year.
This law was controversial because it essentially takes away an individual’s right to bear arms. Two years later, we know that this law has had little effect on individuals because it is not being used often.
Why was the Gun Violence Restraining Order Law Passed?
In 2014, a gunman reportedly killed six people and injured 13 others when he opened fire in Santa Barbara. According to various reports, the gunman’s parents had previously warned police that the shooter could be dangerous, but nothing came of this.
As a result of these actions, California lawmakers created and passed Assembly Bill 1014, which prohibits specified persons from owning or possessing firearms under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 8105.
How Do Gun Violence Restraining Orders Work?
Gun violence restraining orders are issued much in the same way as domestic violence restraining orders. A law enforcement officer, a relative or roommate can file a request for a GVRO at the court during regular business hours.
It is up to a judge to decide whether to grant a GVRO. It will be up to the person filing the request to provide sufficient evidence the person being prohibited from possessing or owning a firearm poses a threat to him or herself or to others.
If the GVRO is granted, the restrained person’s name is added to a state database. If he or she tries to purchase a gun, the GVRO will come up in a background check.
Temporary GVROs last for up to 21 days while ex parte GVROs can last up to one year.
GVROs are Being Underutilized
Recent reports show that fewer than 200 gun violence restraining orders were issued in California during the law’s first two years of implementation. Los Angeles County issued the most GVROs (32), while Santa Barbara County issued 21 and San Diego County granted 18.
Why has the law failed to be used? Supporters of GVRO law place most of the blame on the lack of knowledge of the law’s existence. Though lawmakers pushed to pass the law, less effort has been made to educate the public and law enforcement about it.
Contact the Gun Violence Restraining Order Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you or a loved one is preparing for a gun violence restraining order hearing, it is important that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled criminal defense attorneys have been successfully helping clients fight in court for more than 35 years. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.
Call our office today at (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.