How do courts assess “dangerousness”?

Judges make the decision whether or not to issue a GVRO. By law, they must consider several indicators of dangerousness:

  • Recent threat or act of violence directed toward self or others
  • Violation of a protective order currently in effect or unexpired
  • Conviction for any crime that prohibits purchase and possession of firearms under California law
  • Patterns of violence or threatened violence within the prior 12 months directed toward self or others

In making GVRO decisions, judges may also consider additional evidence of an increased risk for violence, including, but not limited to:

  • Reckless firearm behaviors
  • History of threatened, attempted, or actual physical force against another person
  • Prior arrest for a felony offense
  • History of violation of a protective order
  • Records demonstrating abuse of alcohol or controlled substances
  • Whether the subject of the petition has acquired guns, ammunition, or other deadly weapons within the prior six months