Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO) — which are generally called “red flag” laws — exist in numerous states — including California. They have just seldom been used — until now.
In the past, police officers often had a difficult time separating potentially dangerous individuals from their weapons until after they’d committed an act of violence against someone. This often put people in close contact with the individual — especially spouses in a strained marriage or spouses who were seeking a divorce — in a difficult and dangerous position.
Well, red flag laws make it easier for police to intervene when someone has shown signs of being unstable and made threats — even if nothing that person has said or done amounts to a criminal level. A GVRO can even be enforced when there isn’t enough evidence to obtain a protective order against someone.
At least a dozen states have such laws, but they’re only starting to be enforced in the wake of a series of violent acts by disturbed individuals. California’s GVROs have been in place since 2014, yet many people are unaware that they exists. However, one city — San Diego — has started to demonstrate to others how the law is meant to be used.
In some cases, the city itself has asked for the GVRO against an individual. In other cases, third parties — including co-workers, concerned citizens and distressed family members — have made the request.
If you’re afraid of your spouse or ex-spouse, and he or she has access to weapons, you may have several different options. For more information, contact our office or continue reviewing our website.