What is a GVRO?

The Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) is a law that allows family members, household members, some employers, colleagues, teachers, and law enforcement to work with courts to temporarily remove guns and prevent the purchase of new guns by individuals who pose a significant risk of harm to themselves or others. The media and some organizations sometimes refer to the GVRO and similar laws as so-called “Red Flag Laws”.

If you are in immediate danger, please contact local law enforcement or dial 911.

Why Do We Need a GVRO?

Easy access to guns is a significant risk factor for injury and death. Among the most high-profile incidents was the 2014 shooting in Isla Vista, CA, which helped to prompt the passage of the GVRO law: Friends and family had feared the shooter was dangerous before the shooting occurred, but law enforcement was unable to remove guns from his possession. A GVRO offers families and loved ones, household members, and law enforcement a judicial pathway for temporarily removing firearms and prohibiting future gun purchases for the duration of the order.

What Can I Do?

If you know someone, or come into contact with people who may be at risk of hurting themselves or others with a gun, you should know what options you have to speak for safety with a GVRO.

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How to Obtain a GVRO

To obtain a GVRO, you need to file a petition with a court. These are the steps:

Step 1

Request a petition from your local Superior Court or download online.

Step 2

Complete and submit the petition and other necessary paperwork.
Note: If you need assistance, all Superior Courts in California have self-help centers that can provide you with assistance.

Step 3

If the judge issues a GVRO, ask a law enforcement officer to serve the order on the subject of the petition.

Step 4

Attend the hearing scheduled by the court. The hearing will be scheduled 21 days from the date the judge issues or denies the order.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a GVRO help people in crisis stay safe?

The GVRO helps family members, household members, some employers, colleagues, teachers, and law enforcement protect a loved one who is dangerous to themselves or others by temporarily prohibiting them from accessing guns. It requires temporary removal of guns, ammunition, and magazines from the subject of the order and prohibits new purchases for the duration of the order. This creates safer circumstances for the individual to seek treatment, stabilize their behavior, or access resources to address the underlying causes of their dangerous behaviors.

Where to File


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