Special Announcement

Posted Thursday, March 26, 2020

Gun Violence Restraining Orders

Please note that websites you visit may be viewed by someone else later. Always clear your browsing history after searching the web. Consider using a public or friend’s computer if you are concerned about someone viewing your browsing history.
Please note that websites you visit may be viewed by someone else later.
Always clear your browsing history after searching the web. Consider using
a public or friend’s computer if you are concerned about someone viewing
your browsing history.
footer

Are You in Danger Now? If you need help right now, call “911.”

You can also call a legal aid or nonprofit in your area.

What is a Gun Violence Restraining Order?

A Gun Violence Restraining Order is a court order that prohibits someone from having a gun, ammunition or magazines (ammunition storage and feeding devices). 

It can order someone to:

  • Not have (possess or own) a gun, ammunition or magazines;
  • Not buy a gun, ammunition, or magazines; and
  • Turn in any guns, ammunition and magazines to the police, sell them to or store them with a licensed gun dealer.

A Gun Violence Restraining Order cannot order someone to:

  • stay away from you or your family members;
  • not contact or go near you, your children, other relatives, or others who live with you;
  • stop abuse or harassment; or
  • move out of your house.

If you are afraid someone close to you may use a gun to hurt themselves, or another person, learn more about how to ask for a gun violence restraining order.

If you are concerned about someone’s immediate safety call the police or 9-1-1. 

Other Ways to Prevent Gun Violence

Call the police or contact a hotline for more information about how to keep yourself or other’s safe: 

National Domestic Violence Hotline (available 24 hours a day in over 100 languages) 
1-800-799-SAFE 
thehotline.org

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
1-800-273-8255 
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

Frequently Asked Questions

Does it cost money to file?

No. There is no court fee. And the Sheriff/Marshall will "serve" your order for free.

How will guns be taken away from the person?

If a judge grants a Gun Violence Restraining Order, you can ask your local sheriff or marshal to serve the order for free. This is the safest option because the sheriff or marshall can take away any guns, ammunition and magazines from the restrained person.

What if I want a restraining order with more protections?
Then a gun violence restraining order may not be the right type for your situation. Here are some other restraining orders that you might qualify for that have more protections:
  • Domestic violence restraining orders, for protection from people you were involved with romantically at some point or closely related. Learn more about this type of restraining order.
     
  • Civil harassment restraining orders, for protection from a stalker, neighbors, roommates, coworkers, or more distant family members like cousins, uncles/aunts, etc. Learn more about this type of restraining order.
     
  • Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order, if the person being abused is 65 or older, or between 18 and 64 and a dependent adult. Learn more about this type of restraining order.
If you are not sure what kind of restraining order you should get, go to your local self-help center for free help. (You can find information about how to contact them by calling your local superior court or looking on https://www.courts.ca.gov/find-my-court.htm?query=browse_courts.) You may get help from your local legal services offices or you can hire an attorney.

Are there different types of Gun Violence Restraining Orders?

All Gun Violence Restraining Orders do the same thing: take guns, ammunition, and magazines away from the restrained person, and prevent them from buying new ones. A Temporary or Emergency Gun Violence Restraining Order will last about 21 days. To have a longer Gun Violence Restraining Order (up to five years), there has to be a court hearing. At the court hearing the judge will consider all the evidence and decide whether to approve a Gun Violence Restraining Order for up to 5 years.

Do I have to testify in court?

If you want a restraining order that lasts more than 21 days, you will have to go to court and tell the judge why you need a restraining order.

How long does a Gun Violence Restraining Order last?

After an initial 21-day period and a hearing, it can last from 1 to 5 years.

Centro de ayuda
 
Ask a Law Librarian. Live Online ReferenceAsk a Law Librarian

California Self-Help and Family Law Facilitator Locations

Interactive Google map listing of Self Help Centers and Family Law Facilitators
Click for interactive Google map listing of Self Help Centers and Family Law Facilitator locations, or click for a printer-friendly directory.