What is a GVRO?
The Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) creates a mechanism for family members, household members and law enforcement to work with courts to temporarily remove guns and prevent the purchase of new guns by individuals who pose a potential risk to themselves or others. Modeled after the success of domestic violence restraining orders that are in place in all 50 states, the GVRO has the potential to prevent harm in a crisis situation.
If you are in immediate danger please contact local law enforcement or dial 911.
Why do we need a GVRO?
Family members, household members, and law enforcement who are concerned that an individual poses a threat to themselves or others can now access a Gun Violence Restraining Order. A GVRO offers families and loved ones a judicial pathway for temporarily removing firearms and prohibiting future gun purchases for the duration of the order.
How to Obtain a GVRO?
Step 1: Request a Petition
Request a “Petition for Firearms Restraining Order” (form GV-100) from your County Superior Court Civil or Family Law Clerk or download the form here.
Step 2: Complete and Submit a Petition
Complete and submit the application to your County Superior Court Civil or Family Law Clerk.
Based on the information in the written petition, a judge considers and assesses whether the person (respondent), is at risk of harming himself/herself or someone else.
Step 3: Have the Restrained Party Served
If the judge issues an ex parte order, have the restrained party served with a copy of the order.
If the judge agrees that there is a potential risk for violence, an ex parte GVRO is issued, and will be for 21 days or less. If the subject of the petition does own or possess firearms, he or she must surrender their guns for the duration of the order if the person does not have access to firearms, they would not get an ex parte GVRO, due to burden of proof on the petitioner.
Step 4: Attend Hearing
Attend the required court hearing and if a judge finds clear and convincing evidence in support of the petition, a 1-year order is issued prohibiting the purchase and possession of firearms for the restrained party. (The subject of the petition has the opportunity to attend the hearing but is not required to do so.)
Are there different kinds of GVROs?
There are 3 types of Gun Violence Restraining Orders:
- Temporary Emergency GVRO: A Temporary Emergency GVRO is a type of order that only law enforcement can request.
- Ex Parte Gun Violence Restraining Order (temporary): Both law enforcement and immediate family members of the subject of the petition may petition for an ex parte Gun Violence Restraining Order.
- Gun Violence Restraining Order (1-year): Temporary orders may be extended into a 1-year Gun Violence Restraining Order after a notice and court hearing in which the petitioner is able to demonstrate “clear and convincing evidence that the respondent poses a significant danger of injury to self or others.”