Washington, DC–The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence is celebrating today’s California General Assembly passage of legislation (Assembly Bill 1014) to establish a gun violence restraining order. This tool will give family members – and law enforcement – a mechanism to request the temporary restriction of firearm access by a loved one who is in crisis.
The gun violence restraining order concept is a policy proposal that was first developed by the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy. This promising new strategy was identified as a means to prevent violence by keeping guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals.
The Consortium, a group of mental health and public health experts, issued reports late last year to state and federal policy makers. The development of the gun violence restraining order policy was the result of epidemiological research that identified behaviors associated with an increased risk of future violence. Those behaviors include – among other things – prior acts of violence, threats of violence, and substance and alcohol abuse.
If signed by California Governor Jerry Brown, California’s new law will enable those closest to a person who is at an elevated risk of harm to self and/or others to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from that individual. After a short period of time, the gun violence restraining order would be reassessed to determine if the individual still poses a serious risk of violence. A fact sheet detailing the GVRO is available here.
Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, the convener of the Consortium, issued the following statement in response to today’s bill passage:
This legislation fills a critical gap in California’s system that in the past has left families and law enforcement helpless in the face of crisis, which they often see coming. Family members are in many cases the first to know when a loved one is in trouble and at risk of dangerous behavior. We believe the gun violence restraining order will give families a much-needed tool to intervene before a relative can seriously harm him or herself and/or others. We are encouraged that AB 1014 has been modeled after California’s domestic violence restraining order, a proven mechanism that has prevented countless tragedies. California is establishing an innovative model we urge other states to follow.
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence is grateful to the California state senators and Assembly members who have supported this critical legislation, particularly Assembly members Nancy Skinner and Das Williams, who introduced the legislation, and principal Senate co-author Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.
We urge Governor Brown to sign AB 1014 into law, and we look forward to assisting with its implementation.
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) is the 501(c)(3) sister organization of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The organization has engaged in a number of successful public education campaigns over the years aimed at reducing gun death and injury. The Ed Fund can be found on Twitter.