Ting Bill Expanding State Law On Gun Violence Restraining Orders Heads To the Governor
California is in position to expand its Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) law after the State Senate approved AB 2888 by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) today, sending the measure to the Governor. It adds school personnel, employers and co-workers to the list of parties that can request the courts temporarily take away someone’s guns because of the imminent danger they pose to themselves or others. Currently, only law enforcement and immediate family members can file for a GVRO.
“Prior to February’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, teachers and administrators expressed increasing concern about the gunman’s behavior at school” said Ting, author of AB 2888 and father of two school-aged children. “We need to give California schools more tools to prevent another campus tragedy.”
AB 2888 and other red flag laws gained momentum after the Parkland massacre in February that left 17 students and staffers dead, as well as 17 others injured. 13 states now have so-called red flag laws; eight were in response to the Parkland shooting.
"California's Gun Violence Restraining Orders have already proven to be successful to provide temporary safety from those who have become a danger to others or themselves, while preserving important due process protections,” said Peggy McCrum, President of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign. “As we continue to reach out and educate our communities about the importance of this tool, we're grateful to Assemblymember Ting and other gun safety champions in California who have worked so hard to pass this legislation to improve the system even further."
California’s GVRO law began in 2016 and has been used more than 200 times since then. If a judge approves a GVRO, the gun owner’s weapons are taken away for 21 days. The period can be extended for up to one year with a hearing. San Diego has been one of the most active jurisdictions taking advantage of this tool. Its City Attorney’s office has obtained approximately 50 GVROs against individuals, resulting in the surrender of more than 100 firearms, including a dozen AR-15s.
“Our students, teachers and school employees deserve the protection of Gun Violence Restraining Orders, a powerful tool for the courts to prevent gun-related tragedies by taking firearms from dangerous individuals,” said San Diego City Attorney Mara W. Elliott. “I applaud Assemblymember Ting’s leadership on this issue and his dedication to the safety of our educators and children.” Elliott is also a mother of two school-aged children.
In 2016, Governor Brown vetoed a proposal similar to AB 2888, saying he wanted to see how GVROs were working before expanding the law. He now has until the end of September to consider this proposed expansion. If approved, it’ll take effect on January 1, 2019.
For more information on how GVROs work in California, please visit: www.SpeakForSafety.org.
Media Contact: Nannette Miranda (916) 319-2019