How to Get a GVRO

Information for Family and Household Members

Temporary Firearms Restraining Orders (21 days):

Temporary Firearms Restraining Orders (also known as ex parte Gun Violence Restraining Orders) are available to family and household members, including spouses, parents, grandparents, children, stepparents, stepchildren, domestic partners, siblings, or roommates and persons who have regularly resided on the same property as the subject of the petition in the last six months.

  • Obtain and fill out forms GV-100, CLETS-001, GV-109, and GV-110. Forms may be obtained online at www.courts.ca.gov, or may be available in person at your local Superior or Civil courthouse. In most cases a filing fee will be required. If you cannot afford this fee, ask the court clerk how to apply for a fee waiver (Form FW-001).
  • Have your forms reviewed at the court self-help center or by a lawyer.
  • Make at least 5 copies of your completed forms and turn one copy of all completed forms in to the Superior Court in the county where the person who is the subject of the order lives.
  • A Superior Court may issue a Temporary Firearms Restraining Order, when there is a “substantial likelihood” that the subject of the order “poses a significant danger in the near future of causing personal injury” to self or others by having access to a firearm and when the removal of firearms is necessary to prevent injury; and because less restrictive alternatives have been tried and found to be ineffective, or are inadequate or inappropriate for the circumstances. Temporary Firearms Restraining Order petitions are typically decided on the same day they are filed.
    • Petitioning does not involve a criminal complaint and does not prevent you from seeking any other available legal remedy.
  • If a Temporary Firearms Restraining Order is issued by the court, the subject must be “served” in person with a copy of the order (Form GV-110).

After the order is served, the server must fill out a Proof of Personal Service (Form GV-200) and give it back to you.

  • Serving a Firearms Restraining Order/GVRO can be very dangerous. If an order has been issued, the Judicial Council of California recommends a law enforcement officer serve the order and take all of the subject’s firearms and ammunition when serving the order. There may be a fee associated with having law enforcement serve the order. Never ask a friend or family member to serve a firearm restraining order, or serve the order yourself. The Judicial Council of California also recommends that you do not use a private process server (see “Step 3” on this site for more information).
  • If allowed by law enforcement, the subject of the order may choose to store his or her guns with a federally licensed firearms dealer within 24 hours of being served. Within 48 hours, the subject must then submit a receipt to the court and law enforcement agency which served the order proving that the firearms were surrendered or sold to a licensed firearms dealer. If the subject chooses not to relinquish his or her firearms to a dealer, the subject must surrender firearms and ammunition to a local law enforcement agency within the 24-hour period after he or she was served.
    • Note: If the subject fails to notify the court or the law enforcement agency within 48 hours of the sale or storage of his or her firearms with a federally licensed gun dealer, it is a violation of the order and they are subject to criminal misdemeanor charges.

Once issued, the Temporary Firearms Restraining Order will be in effect for no more than 21 days.

When an order is issued, the Superior Court will schedule a subsequent hearing within 21 days in which both you and the subject have an opportunity to explain whether a one-year GVRO should be issued. If, after the hearing, the court determines that the subject continues to pose a significant danger to self or others and removal of firearms is the needed to prevent injury, the GVRO, prohibiting the purchase and possession of firearms, will be extended for up to one year (see more below).

GVRO After a Notice and a Hearing (one-year):

One-year Gun Violence Restraining Orders are available to family and household members, including spouses, parents, grandparents, children, stepparents, stepchildren, domestic partners, siblings, or roommates and persons who have regularly resided on the same property as the subject of the petition in the last six months.

  • If a petition for a Temporary Firearms Restraining Order (GV-110) has not been filed, obtain and fill out forms GV-100, CLETS-001, and GV-109. Forms may be obtained online at www.courts.ca.gov, or may be available in person at your local Superior or Civil courthouse. In most cases a filing fee will be required. If you cannot afford this fee, ask the court clerk how to apply for a fee waiver (Form FW-001).
    • Note: you do not need to petition for an Temporary Firearms Restraining Order to obtain a one-year GVRO, you may apply separately so long as you attend the hearing that will be scheduled within 21 days of filing your petition and that you serve the subject of the petition with a notice of the hearing.
  • If the petition for a Temporary Firearms Restraining Order was denied by a judge denied you may still petition for a one-year GVRO at the court hearing that the judge will schedule within 21 days of approving or denying the order. New evidence may be considered at the hearing, and the judge may find the one-year GVRO to be more appropriate for the subject.
  • If a Temporary Firearms Restraining Order was issued, but the subject was not served (such as when a subject is not able to be located), you should fill out and file a form GV-115 to request the court to hold the hearing at a later date.
  • A one-year GVRO may be issued by a Superior Court after a hearing if your petition shows by “clear and convincing evidence that the subject poses a significant danger of injury to self or others” by having access to a firearm, and that the removal of firearms is necessary to prevent injury, after the subject of the petition has the opportunity to respond to the order.
  • When attending the hearing, bring any documents (see list below) that help prove the reasons you think a one-year GVRO (Form GV-130) is necessary. Also bring 2 copies of all GVRO forms filed with the court, including the Proof of Service, if applicable. Some of the documents and other evidence that may help your case include:
    • Witnesses or written statements from witnesses (use form MC-030)
    • Any relevant photos
    • Medical or police reports
    • Damaged property
    • A threatening letter, email, or telephone message
  • During the hearing, the court will assess the following criteria to determine whether to issue a one-year GVRO:
    • A recent threat or act of violence directed toward self or others
    • A violation of a domestic violence emergency protective order that is in effect at the time the court is considering the petition
    • A recent violation of an unexpired domestic violence protective order
    • A conviction for any crime that prohibits purchase and possession of firearms under California law (read more about individuals who are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms in California here)
    • A pattern of violence or threatened violence within the prior 12 months directed toward self or others
    • The court may consider other evidence that is indicative of an increased risk for violence, such as the unlawful and reckless use of a firearm

If the one-year GVRO is approved and the subject has not surrendered his or her firearms to law enforcement, the subject must do so right away, or arrange to have them stored with or sold to a licensed firearm dealer within 24 hours (see above).

If the court issues a GVRO at the hearing, the judge must sign a Firearms Restraining Order After Hearing (Form GV-130). You should keep a copy of this order at all times.

If the subject was at the hearing, you do not have to legally serve him or her with a copy of Form GV-130. If the restrained person was not at the hearing, then they do need to be served a copy (see note above under “Ex Parte GVRO” regarding serving orders to subjects).

Documents

Source: California Judicial Council.

Can a Firearms Restraining Order Help Me? Read first. Information sheet on how to ask for a Firearms Restraining Order.
Petition for Firearms Restraining Order Use to start the court case to get a Firearms Restraining Order.
Notice of Court Hearing Will tell you when to go to court.
Temporary Firearms Restraining Order Will tell you if the judge signed the temporary firearms restraining order (21-day order).
Confidential CLETS Information Fill out when you file for your restraining order. Gives information about your case to all law enforcement agencies through a computerized database.
Attached Declaration Use if you need more space to answer some of the questions when you fill out your Petition.
Civil Case Cover Sheet Required when you file any new civil case.
Declaration Use for witness statements or to give more information.
What Is “Proof of Personal Service”? Gives you information on serving your Firearms Restraining Order papers.
Proof of Personal Service Use to prove that you had a law enforcement officer give the person to be restrained a copy of the request, notice of court hearing, and temporary Firearms Restraining Order (if issued) in person.
Firearms Restraining Order After Hearing If the judge grants the FRO, he or she will sign this form.
Proof of Service by Mail Use to prove that you had someone 18 or older (NOT you) mail to the restrained person a copy of your Firearms Restraining Order After Hearing (Form GV-130). Make sure you can in fact serve Form GV-130 by mail in your case.
How Can I Respond to a Petition for Firearms Restraining Orders? Serve on the restrained person with the temporary Firearms Restraining Order.
Response to Petition for Firearms Restraining Orders Leave this form blank and serve on the restrained person with the copy of your request and notice of hearing.



Where to File