SACRAMENTO – As of January 1, a new firearms restriction law goes into effect in California.
While this is normally the happiest time of the year for many Californians, the holiday season can turn into a tragedy.
The California Office of Emergency Services has warned that gun violence is more likely to occur on these dates than at any other time of the year.
The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) reminded Californians of the resources available to save lives, including the state’s Gun Violence Restraining Order Act.
This law allows for the temporary removal of weapons and ammunition from people who are at risk of harming themselves or others.
The law provides loved ones, teachers and school administrators, as well as business owners, the opportunity to intervene and prevent someone in crisis from accessing firearms.
Californians who can file a gun violence restraining order, also known as “eligible petitioners,” include family members and loved ones related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
The law also covers recent household members and roommates, and co-workers who have had regular interactions with the person at risk for at least a year, with the employer’s approval.
Likewise, it includes teachers or employees of secondary school, high school, college or university that the person at risk has attended in the last six months.
However, it must have the approval of a school administrator or supervisor or California law enforcement officers.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law to expand the list of who can file a gun violence restraining order.
As of January 1, 2023, the list includes people who have children in common or who have a dating relationship or a roommate.
Between 2016 and 2020, California issued just over 3,000 temporary gun violence restraining orders.
Authorities view the measure as a powerful tool to prevent mass shootings.
Research from the University of California at Davis shows that they have been used to prevent 58 mass shootings in California.
According to the authorities, this law is also useful to prevent suicides with firearms, which account for more than half of the deaths by firearms in the country.
After Connecticut increased restrictions with its so-called red flag law, one study found that the law was linked to a 14 percent reduction in the state’s firearm suicide rate.
Californians who are concerned that someone is a risk to themselves or others and has access to a firearm can apply for a Gun Violence Restraining Order or obtain more information from California Courts.
The documents required to apply for a Gun Violence Restraining Order are available at local Superior Courts and online.
Once you have obtained the required documents, the California Courts website provides a step-by-step guide to successfully filing a Gun Violence Restraining Order.