How can a GVRO be served?

All types of gun violence restraining orders can be served by a sheriff or marshal for free (as required by California law). The Judicial Council of California recommends that “you should always ask your local law enforcement agency to serve your papers on the person you want to restrain” ( When serving the order, law enforcement will ask the subject for his or her firearms, magazines, and ammunition, and the subject must surrender them to the officer. The officer must then fill out a “Proof of Personal Service” form GV-200 and give it to you.

Why not use the term Red Flag Law?

As extreme risk laws like the GVRO have gained nationwide attention, many media outlets and policymakers have begun using the term “red flag laws” as a catch-all phrase for these orders. However, this term can mischaracterize the way these orders intervene to protect individuals while also stigmatizing individuals with mental health disabilities. This mischaracterization both undermines the effectiveness of these laws and reinforces the false concept that people with mental disabilities are more inclined towards violence when they are in fact more likely to be victims of violence (as shown in numerous studies). Groups like the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and others also oppose the use of this term. We suggest using the term “extreme risk laws” instead of “red flag laws.” To read more about this subject, please check out this op-ed from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.