From Assemblymember Phil Ting

California's Red Flag Law Works


Gilroy. El Paso. Dayton.

The latest mass shootings have renewed talk about the need for strong red flag laws, which create a court process to temporarily take away someone's firearms because of the danger they pose to themselves or others. 17 states have a variation of such laws in effect, including ours. A dozen of them were enacted after the 2018 Parkland, FL school shooting.

In California, our red flag law is implemented through a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO). A new study by the U.C. Davis Violence Prevention Research Program suggests GVROs are effective in reducing the risk of mass shootings in our state. There's no question that GVROs are important tools that help save lives.

From 2016 (when California's GVRO law took effect) through 2018, more than 600 people had weapons removed from their possession. Researchers closely examined a sample of 21 individuals and found none were involved in subsequent gun-related violence. While it is hard to say how many incidents were prevented, it is reasonable to conclude GVROs play a role in reducing the chance of gun-related violence.

That's why I'm pushing to expand access to GVROs through AB 61. My bill would allow educators, employers and co-workers to petition for one. Currently, only law enforcement and immediate family members can do so. With the rise of school and workplace shootings, it's common sense to give the people we see every day an avenue to prevent tragedies.

They say the third time's a charm. I'm hopeful my third attempt to expand our GVRO law will result in our new Governor's signature. Lives depend on it.



Phil Ting
Assemblymember, 19th District

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