Gun violence is an issue that affects us all. One in three people in the United States knows someone who has been shot. Every single day, on average, 55 people kill themselves with a firearm, and 46 people are shot or killed in an accident with a gun. These numbers are shocking and should cause concern for all of us.

In fact, right here in my home state of California, there have been more than eight firearm-related deaths every single day on average since 2014, accounting for 2,942 total deaths. Similar to national data, the majority of gun deaths in California are a result of a suicide. On January 1, 2016, an important gun law went into effect in California to prevent firearm-related deaths. This new law established a process to allow family members to petition the court to obtain a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) when a person is at risk of harm to themselves or others by having a firearm. The order temporarily prohibits the purchase or possession of firearms and requires the removal of any firearm currently posses while the order is in effect.

Although California, and the rest of the country, has a long road ahead of us to ensuring that we have sensible gun policies in place, and resources to prevent gun-related violence, the GVRO is a positive first step in providing safety for families all across the state. As Josh Horwitz, Executive Director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence states, “The GVRO going into effect in California [has provided] family members—those who know their loved ones best—a much needed tool to separate those in crisis from deadly weapons while simultaneously allowing these same individuals to seek the help they often desperately need.”

By Revolve Staff