A new law can help!
California’s Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) is a law that allows certain teachers, school employees, co-workers, employers, family, household members, and law enforcement to obtain a court order to prevent an at-risk person from accessing guns, ammunition, or magazines and that temporarily prohibits that person from purchasing or obtaining any new guns, ammunition, or magazines*. The firearm removal and purchase restriction can last from 21 days to five years, depending on the type of order, and what the judge thinks is appropriate. A final GVRO, lasting between one and five years, can be renewed before it expires if the danger still exists.
*Magazines are ammunition storage and feeding devices which can often be detached from a firearm.
Who can request a GVRO?
Law enforcement, family members, household members, employers, some co-workers, certain teachers/school employees can file a petition to obtain a GVRO with the Superior Court in which the person to be restrained resides. If you are a non-family caregiver or home visitor, you cannot petition directly for a GVRO (unless you are a conservator of the person or have lived in the same household as them within the last six months). However, if a client has risk factors such as an emotional crisis or dementia and is demonstrating signs of being dangerous such as suicidal ideation, aggression, public threats of violence, or is exhibiting other dangerous behaviors, you can consider contacting your local sheriff or police department, or advising a client’s family member about the GVRO.