Can a Gun Violence Restraining Order Prevent Mass Shootings?

Publication: ABC 10 Sacramento

Many people have been left asking if anything could have been done to prevent mass shootings after nine people were killed in San Jose Wednesday. There are so-called "red flag" laws in place across the country aimed at heeding possible warning signs, but are they being used often enough? 

Assemblymember Phil Ting doesn’t think so.

In California, these laws are referred to as Gun Violence Restraining Orders Or GRVOs. GVROs allow courts to temporarily remove guns, ammunition or magazines from someone who’s a risk to themselves or others, and temporarily prevent them from buying anymore.

Originally, only family members or law enforcement could get a Gun Violence Restraining Order. However, in 2019, Assemblymember Phil Ting’s bill, AB61, was signed into law, expanding who can get a GVRO. These now include an employer, a coworker with permission from their employer, an employee or teacher at a school, or a school administrator. The expansion took effect in September 2020.