What is a Gun Violence Restraining Order
A Gun Violence Restraining Order is a court order that prohibits someone from having a gun, ammunition, or magazines (ammunition storage and feeding devices).
It can order someone to:
- Not have (possess or own) a gun, ammunition, or magazines
- Not buy a gun, ammunition, or magazines; and
- Turn in any guns, ammunition, and magazines to the polize, sell them to or store them with a licensed gun dealer.
A Gun Violence Restraining Order cannot order someone to:
- Stay away from you or your family members
- Not contact or go near you, your children, other relatives, or others who live with you
- Stop abuse or harassment; or
- Move out of your house
If you are afraid someone close to you may use a gun to hurt themselves, or another person, learn more about how to ask for a gun violence restraining order.
If you are concerned about someone's immediate safety, call the police or 9-1-1.
Other Ways to Prevent Gun Violence
Call the police or contact a hotline for more information about how to keep yourself or others safe:
National Domestic Violence hotline (available 24 hours a day in over 100 languages)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
No. There is no court fee. The Sheriff will "serve" your order for free.
If a judge grants a Gun Violence Restraining Order, you can ask your local sheriff to serve the order for free. This is the safest option because the sheriff can take away any guns, ammunition, and magazines from the restrained person.
Then a gun violence restraining order may not be the right type for your situation. Here are some other restraining orders that you might qualify for that have more protections:
- Domestic violence restraining orders for protection from people you were involved with romantically at some point or closely related. Visit our Domestic Violence webpage for more information about this type of restraining order.
- Civil harassment restraining orders for protection from a stalker, neighbors, roommates, coworkers, or more distant family members like cousins, uncles/aunts, etc. Visit our Civil Harassment Restraining Order webpage for more information about this type of restraining order.
- Elder or dependent adult abuse restraining order if the person being abused is 65 or older, or between 18 and 64 and a dependent adult. Visit the Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse webpage for more information about this type of restraining order.
If you are not sure what type of restraining order you should get, go to your local self-help center for free help. You can find information about how to contact them by calling your local superior court or looking on this webpage. You may get help from your local legal service office, or you can hire an attorney.
All Gun Violence Restraining Orders do the same thing: take guns, ammunition, and magazines away from the restrained person, and prevent them from buying new ones. A Temporary or Emergency Gun Violence Restraining order will last about 21 days. To have a longer Gun Violence Restraining Order (up to five years), there must be a court hearing. At the court hearing the judge will consider all the evidence and decide whether to approve a Gun Violence Restraining Order for up to 5 years.
If you want a restraining order that lasts more than 21 days, you will have to go to court and tell the judge why you need a restraining order.
After an initial 21-day period and a hearing, it can last from 1 to 5 years.