How to Get a GVRO

Information for Law Enforcement


 

Emergency Gun Violence Restraining Order (21 Days)

California law allows a law enforcement officer to obtain an emergency GVRO at any time of the day or night. Because an emergency GVRO requires ‘immediate and present danger,’ it will be requested by law enforcement at the scene of the emergency and issued to the officer orally by the judge (generally over the phone).

To obtain an emergency GVRO:

  • Explain to a judicial officer why reasonable grounds for the issuance of an emergency GVRO exist and ask for oral or written approval of the temporary emergency GVRO.
  • Serve the order on the person to be restrained (if the person can reasonably be located).
  • Request that any firearms, ammunition, and magazines be immediately surrendered and issue a receipt for the surrendered items (Penal Code § 18120). When ordered, the respondent must surrender firearms immediately.
  • Take into temporary custody any firearms, ammunition, magazines, or other deadly weapons discovered in plain view or pursuant to consent or other lawful search (Penal Code § 18250).
  • Inform the restrained person of any scheduled hearing regarding the order (Penal Code § 18160).
  • Memorialize the order of the court on the form EPO-002. If the order was obtained orally, the judicial officer will have to sign the form later on.
  • File a copy of the order with the court as soon as practicable after issuance.
  • Have the order entered into the computer database system for protective and restraining orders (CLETS) maintained by the Department of Justice.
  • After the order is filed with the court, the court will schedule a hearing within 21 days in order to determine if a one-year GVRO is necessary. The respondent must be notified of the hearing at least five days prior to the hearing date.
  • As soon as practicable, submit Proof of Personal Service to the Records (Form GV-200) Bureau Manager for prompt entry into the California Restraining and Protective Order System (Penal Code § 18115).

Once issued, the emergency GVRO will be in effect for 21 days.

When serving the order, the restrained person must surrender all guns, ammunition, and magazines to you or any other law enforcement officer serving the order and must be informed that he or she is not allowed to purchase or possess firearms for the duration of the order.

Any violation of the order is a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine or imprisonment for 6 months or both. Furthermore, the person will be prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms, ammunition, and magazines for an additional five-year period beginning on the expiration date of the original GVRO.

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

GVRO After Notice and a Hearing (one-year)

One-year Gun Violence Restraining Orders are available to law enforcement and family or 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 person to be restrained within the last six months.

A one-year GVRO may be issued after a hearing is held to determine if the respondent poses a significant danger to self or others and the removal of firearms, magazines, and ammunition is needed to prevent injury. One-year GVROs are renewable.

To obtain a one-year GVRO:

  • Obtain and fill out forms GV-100, CLETS-001, and GV-109, and submit them to the Superior Court in the county in which the person to be restrained resides.
  • The judge will then schedule a hearing date within 21-days of the petition being filed. You must attend the hearing.
  • At least five days prior to the court hearing date, copies of the above forms GV-100 and GV-109 must be served on the respondent. The Judicial Council of California recommends law enforcement always serve the order.
  • If a temporary GVRO was issued, but the respondent was not served (such as when a respondent 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 the court finds “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, and after the restrained person has had the opportunity to respond to the order.
  • When attending the hearing, you should take documents that help prove the reasons why a firearms restraining order is necessary. Take two copies of all documents and filed forms. Some of the documents may include:
    • Written statements from witnesses (use form MC-030)
    • Any relevant photos
    • Medical or police reports
    • Damaged property
    • Threatening letters, emails, or telephone messages
  • Additionally, witnesses may attend the hearing and provide statements.
  • During a hearing the court will access the dangerousness of the individual based on the following criteria:
    • 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
    • Any 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)
    • Patterns of violence or threatened violence within the prior 12 months directed toward self or others
    • The court may consider any other evidence that is indicative of an increased risk of violence, such as the reckless use of a firearm
    • The court may also consider whether or not other means less restrictive than a restraining order have been tried and have not worked or are not appropriate

After the hearing:

  • If the one-year GVRO is approved and the restrained party has yet to surrender their firearms, ammunition, and magazines to law enforcement, they must do so right away. If a GVRO is issued to a non-law-enforcement petitioner, the petitioner may ask that law enforcement serve the order and remove the firearms, ammunition, and magazines, at no cost to the petitioner (see SB-1200 for more details).
  • If the court issues a restraining order at the hearing, the judge must sign a written order on Form GV-130.
  • If the respondent was at the hearing, you do not have to legally serve him or her with a copy of Form GV-130. If the respondent was not at the hearing, then they do need to be served a copy, similar to a 21-day temporary GVRO.
  • After a GVRO is issued, you may choose to terminate the order if circumstances change. Click here to learn more about this process.
  • You may renew a one-year GVRO within three months of the initial GVRO ending (but not after it ends). Click here to learn more about this process.

Documents

Source: California Judicial Council

Gun Violence Emergency Protective Order Use to obtain a Temporary Emergency Gun Violence Restraining Order that is effective immediately for 21 days.
Petition for Gun Violence Restraining Order Use to start the court case to get a Gun Violence Restraining Order that will last 21 days if approved by a judicial officer before a hearing.
Temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order Will tell you if the judge signed the temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order (order before hearing).
How Can I Respond to a Petition for a Gun Violence Restraining Order? Serve on the restrained person with the copy of your request and notice of hearing.
Response to Petition for a Gun Violence Restraining Order Leave this form blank and serve on the restrained person with the copy of your request and notice of hearing.
Proof of Firearms Turned In, Sold, or Stored Leave this form blank and serve on the restrained person with the copy of your request and notice of hearing.
Gun Violence Restraining Order After Hearing Use to obtain a one-year order. If the judge grants a one-year order after a hearing, he or she will sign this form.



Where to File