On February 15, 2023, the Resource Center’s Director, Julia Weber, presented at the Santa Clara County Gun Conference, in Campbell, California. Over 250 law enforcement officers and prosecutors from the San Francisco Bay Area were in attendance. Julia presented on implementation of Senate Bill 320, a comprehensive firearms relinquishment statutory change addressing civil restraining order prohibitions in family and juvenile dependency matters that became effective on Jan. 1, 2022. Julia was part of the team that worked on the bill (sponsored by Giffords) and was successful in advocating for $40 million in state funding to support implementation. The law provides a model for other jurisdictions.  

Highlights of Senate Bill 320 include requirements such as: 

  • At the scene and at service law enforcement must remove firearms in plain sight or found through a consensual search. Firearm and ammunition relinquishment must occur immediately upon request by a law enforcement officer serving a civil domestic violence restraining order. 

  • If not relinquished then, the restrained party has 24 hours to relinquish and 48 hours to turn in proof to law enforcement and the court.  

  • Courts must provide local information on how those who become prohibited from having firearms and ammunition can comply. 

  • When information about firearms in a civil restraining order case is provided to the court, the court must consider whether there is a violation, make a written record of the determination, and provide it to the parties; and 

  • If evidence of compliance is not provided must notify law enforcement immediately. Law enforcement must then “take all actions necessary” to obtain firearms and ammunition, owned, possessed, or controlled by the restrained party. 

In addition to civil and criminal consequences for violating an order, continuing to own or possess a firearm and ammunition in violation of the restraining order can impact child custody and visitation orders. 

Center staff provide training and technical assistance on this and related policies for jurisdictions nationally. For more information or to request training and technical assistance, please contact Center staff at info@preventdvgunviolence.org.  

Required fields are marked *