WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The new website provides information on how Californians can request Gun Violence Restraining Orders, and shares critical life-saving resources.
SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the launch of GunSafety.ca.gov, a website that provides critical information on how Californians can use Gun Violence Restraining Orders to help protect their loved ones, as well as the state’s new law allowing victims of gun violence to sue those spreading illegal weapons. The new website – one of the most comprehensive state gun safety websites in the nation – also features multilingual resources to help Californians prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from gun violence.
The website launch coincides with National Gun Violence Awareness Month, and comes on the heels of “Wear Orange Weekend,” which honors the 40,000 people who lose their lives to gun violence and the thousands more who are shot and wounded every year.
What Governor Newsom said: “California is taking aggressive and relentless action to end the unbearable tragedy of gun violence. While other states remain complacent in the face of recurring, gut-wrenching tragedy, California is making it easier than ever to access commonsense tools like Gun Violence Restraining Orders to protect our communities.”
To further promote equitable access to this tool, all of the resources have been translated into the eight most commonly spoken languages in California: English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), Vietnamese, Tagalog/Filipino, Korean, and Armenian.
The new website is part of an $11 million statewide campaign announced last year, administered by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, to raise awareness, educate the public and explain the steps required to obtain a Gun Violence Restraining Order. In California, Gun Violence Restraining Orders were used to prevent 58 threatened mass shootings between 2016 and 2019 and have shown immense promise in reducing suicides.
A Gun Violence Restraining Order, or GVRO, is a temporary action taken by a local court when someone is at risk or causing harm to themselves or others. The individual in crisis subject to the order cannot purchase or possess firearms or ammunition while the order is in place. These temporary orders empower Californians to intervene, while protecting the rights of individuals in crisis, and are not considered punishment under the law. Californians can learn more about who can file an application for a Gun Violence Restraining Order, how to file and access other resources available at GunSafety.ca.gov.
Last year, the Governor signed legislation allowing Californians to sue those making, selling, transporting or distributing illegal assault weapons and ghost guns – guns made at home to avoid tracing – for damages of at least $10,000 per weapon involved. The Governor also signed legislation allowing the state, local governments, and Californians to sue irresponsible gun makers.
California’s gun safety laws work. In 2021, California was ranked as the #1 state for gun safety by the Giffords Law Center, and the state saw a 37% lower gun death rate than the national average. According to the CDC, California’s gun death rate was the 44th lowest in the nation, with 8.5 gun deaths per 100,000 people – compared to 13.7 deaths per 100,000 nationally, 28.6 in Mississippi, 20.7 in Oklahoma, and 14.2 in Texas.