California’s Much-Lauded Gun Violence Restraining Orders Rarely Used

A semi-automatic AR-15 rifle of the type found at the home of a Californian teenager arrested for threatening a school shooting just days after a deadly gun rampage at a Florida high school

California’s much lauded Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) have rarely been invoked to take away the guns of an individual deemed a danger to himself or others.

GVROs were signed into law in October 2014, months after Elliot Rodger fatally shot three people in Santa Barbara, then stabbed three others to death. The orders took effect in 2016.

The Los Angeles Times reports that GVROs have been used less than 200 times in the two years since they took effect, with Los Angeles County leading the way with 32 GVROs issued. Santa Barbara County issued 21 and San Diego County issued 18.

Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer praised GVROs when they took effect and believes a public campaign could encourage more people to pursue such orders against family members. He said, “The paucity of (orders) here in Los Angeles leads me to believe additional training will be very helpful.”

But UCLA law professor and gun control advocate Adam Winkler warned that GVROs would not live up the hype from the start. On May 27, 2015, Winkler told the National Journal that a GVRO would not have stopped Elliot Rodger from carrying out his rampage–at least in part–and would not have prevented the Democrats’ favorite go-to example, Adam Lanza, from attacking Sandy Hook Elementary School because Lanza’s “mother did not recognize the potential for violence” in him.

Even if Rodger’s family had recognized the danger he posed–rather than mental problems–a GVRO would have left him in a position where he still could have killed the three people he stabbed to death.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at



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