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Published on June 14, 2024
Santa Clara County Leads California in Use of Gun Violence Restraining Orders to Prevent IncidentsSource: Augustas Didžgalvis, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In Santa Clara County, the use of Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs) has pushed the region to the forefront of California's fight against gun-related incidents. GVROs empower law enforcement to temporarily confiscate firearms from individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others by the courts. Santa Clara County led the state last year with 645 orders, which is about a quarter of all orders statewide, as reported by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

When compared to another California heavyweight, San Diego County, which issued 503 GVROs, Santa Clara's tally signifies an aggressive local stance on preventive measures. Represented by the San Jose Police Department, they quickly responded to a man planning a school shooting with a GVRO before he could purchase firearms, leading to criminal charges, according to details revealed by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office.

This trend in proactive safety measures has been building. From the first GVROs issued in the county in 2016 and 2017, numbers have spiked following extensive training programs for law enforcement, city attorneys, and community groups initiated by the DA’s Office to keep Santa Clara County residents out of harm's way.

District Attorney Jeff Rosen, just back from the Prosecutors Against Gun Violence Conference in New York City, underscored a national consensus on gun safety during a press interview. "We agree that someone who is threatening a mass shooting should not have a gun. We agree that someone who threatens to kill his wife or girlfriend should not have a gun. We agree someone who is suicidal should not have a gun," he was quoted saying, as per the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. These agreements serve as the bedrock for the support and utilization of GVROs to wrest firearms from those labeled dangerous.

Rosen additionally commended the Gun Task Force, a specialized effort to safely disarm those identified under GVROs, and acknowledged the work of the San Jose City Attorney’s Office in extending orders beyond the initial 21 days for individuals still considered to be a threat. The combination of these actions, both extended and sustained, promises a continuum of vigilance against potential gun violence in the county.