Gun Violence Restraining Orders in California Aim to Curb Mass Shootings
Southern California has had a harsh time recently. At a time when we should have been celebrating the holidays, we faced the San Bernardino shooting and bomb threats against schools in Los Angeles. California’s lawmakers, who already had passed a law aimed at preventing acts of mass violence, are now examining whether the law should go further.
The law, which went into effect on Jan. 1, allows concerned family members or law enforcement officers to petition the court for a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO). In situations where there is sufficient evidence for a judge to believe that an individual poses a danger to himself or others, the GVRO temporarily prohibits that person from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allows law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in the individual’s possession.
This law was proposed in response to the Santa Barbara mass shooting in May 2014, in which a young man killed six people and wounded 13 others. The man’s parents had warned police they believed he could be a danger to others.
How are Gun Violence Restraining Orders Issued?
The law functions much in the same way as a domestic violence restraining order. There are two types of GVROs: a temporary emergency GVRO that lasts for 21 days, and an ex parte GVRO that lasts one year. However, you can only lose your gun possession rights for a year after a full hearing before a judge.
Before a GVRO is issued, a hearing will take place where the person(s) who is asking the court for the order must prove by clear and convincing evidence that the person who they are seeking the order against poses a substantial likelihood of causing harm to others.
How an Attorney Can Help You during a GVRO Hearing
The burden of proof for the petitioner is very difficult to meet. If you are seeking to obtain a GVRO against a family member, you should contact an attorney who can help you prove that the person poses a threat to your safety or the safety of others.
If a family member is attempting to issue a GVRO against you and you don’t want to lose your ability to legally possess firearms, you should contact a criminal defense attorney right away. Our attorneys may be able to offer mitigating evidence against the petitioner’s evidence to explain the context of the situation and show why the “danger” you pose is not actually a threat to yourself or others.
If the court nevertheless grants the GVRO, you may seek another hearing to terminate the order. Your experienced criminal defense lawyer can guide you through this process and help you restore your right to carry firearms.
Contact the GVRO Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
If you are preparing for a gun violence restraining order hearing, you need the help of a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, we have been successfully helping clients handle restraining orders matters for more than 40 years. We work tirelessly to help our clients keep their rights. Let our knowledgeable attorneys help you, too.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is a Wallin & Klarich attorney experienced in criminal defense near you, no matter where you work or live.
Contact our offices today at (888) 280-6839 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.