California Governor Jerry Brown decided yesterday to sign legislation “establishing a gun violence restraining order (GVRO), which gives family members – and law enforcement – a critical tool to protect loved ones and the community at large.”
The new law is based on the work of the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, a group of mental and public health experts convened in 2013 by The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence to develop proposals for policy intended to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals. Epidemiological research identified behaviors associated with an increased risk of future violence, including prior violent acts, threats of violence, and substance and alcohol abuse.
The Ed Fund’s director, Josh Horwitz, said:
“Governor Brown’s decision to sign this bill into law represents an evidence-based, rational approach to curbing gun violence in California. While it is common to suggest that guns should be kept out of the hands of the ‘mentally ill,’ that category is too vague to be effective and can wrongly stigmatize a group of individuals who are in fact no more likely to be violent than the rest of us. A gun violence restraining order, on the other hand, will save lives because it is tailored to remove firearms from those most at risk for future violence and is not dependent on a diagnosis of mental illness.
In addition to Governor Brown, the Ed Fund is grateful to the California legislators who have supported this critical legislation, particularly Assembly members Nancy Skinner and Das Williams, who introduced the legislation, and principal Senate co-author Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.”