En Español
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or (TTY) 1-800-787-3224

Know the Laws: California

UPDATED August 7, 2017

Gun Violence Restraining Orders

Print this page
View All

A gun violence restraining order temporarily restricts a respondent's access to guns in certain situations to protect him/her and others.

Getting the order

back to topHow do I get a gun violence restraining order?

The steps to get a gun violence restraining order are similar to the steps to get a domestic violence restraining order, but you will fill out different forms.  When filing a petition for a gun violence restraining order, you must describe the number, types, and locations of any firearms and ammunition you believe the respondent currently possesses or controls.* 

* Cal. Penal Code § 18107

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topHow will the judge make a decision?

In deciding whether to grant a gun violence restraining order, the judge must consider the following evidence:

  • a recent (within 6 months) threat of violence, or act of violence by the respondent, either self-inflicted or to others;
  • a violation of a current domestic violence emergency protective order or an emergency stalking protective order;
  • a recent violation of an unexpired domestic violence protective order, a civil harassment order, a protection order prohibiting intimidation of witnesses, or a restraining order to prevent elder or dependent adult abuse;
  • a conviction for a crime that prohibits purchase and possession of firearms under California law; and
  • a pattern of violent acts or threats within the past 12 months by the respondent directed toward
  • himself/herself or to others.*

The judge may also consider any other relevant evidence that indicates an increased risk for violence, such as:

  • the respondent’s unlawful and reckless use, display, or brandishing (flaunting) of a firearm;
  • the respondent’s history of use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person;
  • the respondent’s prior arrest for a felony offense;
  • the respondent’s history of a (non-recent) violation of a domestic violence emergency protective order or stalking emergency protective order;
  • the respondent’s history of a (non-recent) violation of a domestic violence protective order, a civil harassment order, a protection order declaring a minor child a dependent child, a protection order prohibiting intimidation of witnesses, or a restraining order to prevent elder or dependent adult abuse;
  • police reports and conviction records of the respondent’s recent criminal offenses that involve controlled substances or alcohol;
  • documentary evidence of ongoing abuse of controlled substances or alcohol; and
  • evidence of the respondent recently gaining access to firearms, ammunition, or other deadly weapons.**

* Cal. Penal Code § 18155(b)(1)
** Cal. Penal Code § 18155(b)(2)

Did you find this information helpful?

back to topCan a gun violence restraining order be renewed?

Yes.  A gun violence restraining order issued after a hearing can be issued for up to one year.  You or a law enforcement officer can request that the judge renew the order if you (or the officer) make that request within 3 months of the order expiring.*

* Cal. Penal Code § 18190

Did you find this information helpful?

back to top