Gun Violence Restraining Orders


The presence of firearms in dangerous or abusive situations, including domestic violence, harassment, workplace violence and risk of suicide, can increase the likelihood of severe injury or fatality.

Our communities – especially survivors of domestic violence – must be aware of the many options and resources available when seeking safety.


In California alone from 2001-2012, 


resulted from domestic violence. That’s 167 women each year.

California Department of Justice Homicide in California data. Available at https://oag.ca.gov/cjsc/pubs#homicide.

In the United States from 2001-2012,


 were murdered by an intimate partner using a gun. That’s 600 women each year.

Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplemental Homicide Data (U.S. Department of Justice, 2001-2012); U.S. Department ofDefense, U.S. Casualty Status Fatalities (2014), available at http://defense.gov/news/casualty.pdf

In California alone since just 2021:


derived from domestic violence.   

2021 Homicide in California. California Department of Justice. Available at https://data-openjustice.doj.ca.gov/sites/default/files/2022-08/Homicide%20In%20CA%202021.pdf.

A woman is

5x more likely

to be killed by an abusive partner who has access to firearms. 

Campbell JC, Webster D, Koziol-McLain J, Block C, Campbell D, Curry MA, Gary F, Glass N, McFarlane J, Sachs C, Sharps P, Ulrich Y, Wilt SA, Manganello J, Xu X, Schollenberger J, Frye V, Laughon K. Risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships: results from a multisite case control study. Am J Public Health. 2003 Jul;93(7):1089-97. doi: 10.2105/ajph.93.7.1089. PMID:12835191; PMCID: PMC1447915.


1 million women

in the U.S. today reported being shot or shot at by an intimate partner.

Susan B. Sorenson and Rebecca A. Schut, “Nonfatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence: A Systematic Review of the Literature,” Trauma, Violence, & Abuse 19, no. 4 (2018): 431–442.

Black women are 

twice as likely 

to be shot and killed by an intimate partner in comparison to white women.

Petrosky, E., Blair, J. M., Betz, C. J., Fowler, K. A., Jack, S. P., & Lyons, B. H. (2017). Racial and ethnic differences in homicides of adult women and the role of intimate partner violence—United States, 2003–2014. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 66(28), 741.



When laws are implemented that require abusers to turn in their firearms, we see a 16 percent reduction in domestic violence homicides. We can make a difference and save lives by ensuring access to safety planning and key legal remedies where appropriate.

What is a "Gun Violence Restraining Order"? (GVRO) 


GVROs allow family members, household members, and law enforcement to work with courts to temporarily remove guns and prevent the purchase of new guns by individuals who pose a significant risk of harm to themselves or others. The GVRO is a civil procedure, not a criminal one. The goal is to ensure safety of the individual and those around them.


Option House is a leader in providing legal options to reduce the risks of firearms and increase safety. 

Since 1977, we've supported survivors of domestic violence and gun violence in their safety and healing, and provide vital resources to service providers.

Option House would like to help you 

start the process for a
gun violence restraining order 


What is a gun violence restraining order?

A legal tool that allows family members, law enforcement officers, or other concerned individuals to ask a court to temporarily remove firearms from an individual who may be a danger to themselves or others.

How does a gun violence restraining order work?

After filing a petition with the court, a judge will review the evidence presented and determine whether or not to issue a temporary restraining order. If granted, the order will require the individual to turn over their firearms and prohibit them from purchasing or possessing firearms for a certain period of time.

Who can file for a gun violence restraining order?

Family members, household members, law enforcement officers, and school employees can file for a gun violence restraining order.

What is the process for filing for a gun violence restraining order? How long does it take?


What are the warning signs of potential gun violence?

It is essential to include a list of warning signs that may indicate someone is a danger to themselves or others. These may include threats of violence, erratic behavior, substance abuse, and a history of domestic violence.

How can individuals file for a gun violence restraining order?

It is important to provide information on how individuals can file for a gun violence restraining order, including the necessary forms and where to file them.

What are the benefits of a gun violence restraining order?

A gun violence restraining order can help prevent tragedies by temporarily removing firearms from individuals who may be a danger to themselves or others.

What is the duration of a gun violence restraining order?

The duration of a gun violence restraining order varies by state, but they are typically temporary and can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

What should individuals do if they have concerns about someone who may be a danger to themselves or others?

Encourage individuals to speak up and report any concerns they may have about someone who may be a danger to themselves or others. Provide resources and contact information for law enforcement and mental health services.

What are the consequences of violating a gun violence restraining order?

It is important to include information on the legal consequences of violating a gun violence restraining order, including fines and potential jail time.

Where can individuals find more information about gun violence restraining orders?

Provide contact information for local law enforcement, mental health services, and other resources where individuals can find more information about gun violence restraining orders.

What's the difference between a GVRO and a Domestic Violence Restraining order or DVRO?

GVRO only prevents the subject of the order from possessing or obtaining firearms or ammunition, it does not bar contact or require that the subject restrict themselves from being near the petitioner.

For personal protection from a spouse, family member, or household member, one can proceed for a DVRO. The process of obtaining a DVRO is similar to the GVRO but there are different requirements and documentation needed to obtain an order.