March 7, 2023

Supervisors Seek to Improve Access to Gun Violence Restraining Orders

Los Angeles, CA – Today, the LA County Board of Supervisors took steps to improve County residents’ ability to access Gun Violence Restraining Orders, following a unanimous vote on a motion authored by Board Chair Janice Hahn and co-authored by Supervisor Hilda Solis.

“While creating new methods to regulate guns and prevent gun violence are important, we also need to be sure we’re not neglecting the tools we already have,” said Chair Hahn. “Gun Violence Restraining Orders can save lives, but most people in LA County don’t know they exist. Today’s motion will help us get the word out about this important resource and make the process of obtaining a gun violence restraining order as easy as possible.”

In 2016, California passed a red flag law that allows people to petition a court for a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO), that, when granted, mandates the removal of all firearms and ammunition from individuals who are determined to be at risk of causing imminent harm to themselves or others. However, this tool is severely underutilized in Los Angeles County. Out of the 1,384 GVROs issued in California in 2021, only 54 came out of Los Angeles County.

“The County of Los Angeles must put more effort into helping to educate victims and survivors of domestic violence about Gun Violence Restraining Orders. Information is power, and we must empower those at risk of harm to access this critical resource,” said Supervisor Solis.

Supervisors were joined by anti-gun violence activists, survivors of gun violence, and family members of victims of gun violence who spoke in support of the motion.

The motion directs the LA County Department of Public Health’s Office of Violence Prevention to report back in 90 days with the following:

  1. A plan to implement a public awareness campaign on GVRO’s, including what they are and how to petition for one.
  2. Ways to create a process to collect data on GVROs submitted in LA County, including the number of GVROs filed annually, the number of petitions that result in an order after a court hearing, and the number of firearms removed as a result of GVROs.
  3. Options and recommendations for assigning responsibility within LA County for streamlining the GVRO process, collecting data, providing training to law enforcement and the public, and assisting with both public-initiated and law enforcement-initiated GVRO petitions.

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