Gun Violence Restraining Order Implementation Fellowship

Job Type

Full Time



Start Date


Application Deadline



San Francisco
United States


POSITION Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) Implementation Fellowship 

REPORTS TO Managing Attorney

LOCATION San Francisco, CA 

HOURS Full-time


For 25 years, the legal experts at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have been fighting for a safer America by researching, drafting, and defending the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence. Formed after a mass shooting at a San Francisco law firm in 1993, and renamed in 2017 to honor our partnership with former Congresswoman and gun violence survivor, Gabrielle Giffords, Giffords Law Center is comprised of the nation’s foremost legal experts on gun laws and the Second Amendment. We work with advocates, lawmakers, and citizens at the federal, state, and local level to pass and defend laws that keep communities safe and close dangerous gaps in existing gun laws. And by making complex legal and policy issues understandable by conducting research, providing training, and generating model regulations, we facilitate public education on the policies proven to save lives from gun violence.

For more information about Giffords Law Center, visit our website:

Giffords Law Center has a unique opportunity for a recent law school graduate (within 5 years of law school graduation) to spend one year, with the possibility of a one-year extension, helping implement a novel gun violence prevention tool in California called the Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) law and advocating for this policy in states around the country. 

We are committed to assembling a diverse staff and are proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage people of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, and sexual orientations, as well as veterans and those with disabilities, to apply. Giffords Law Center believes that diversity and inclusion among our staff is critical to our mission to change policies, challenge injustice, and save lives.


On May 23, 2014, a disturbed and angry young man shot 10 people in the college town of Isla Vista, California. Before this massacre, however, the killer displayed such concerning behavior that his parents contacted his therapist, who alerted the police that their son was likely to harm himself or others. Although law enforcement interviewed him, the officers stated that, based on the information available to them, they were unable to remove the killer’s guns or take him into custody. 

Later that year, California enacted a law that allows family and household members, or law enforcement officers, to petition a court directly for an order temporarily restricting a person’s access to guns. A GVRO is a vital tool that saves lives by allowing the people who are most likely to notice when a loved one or community member becomes a danger to take concrete steps to disarm them. Connecticut and Indiana have similar laws in place, but only allow law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily restrict an individual’s access to firearms. Research has shown that these laws have a particular impact on preventing gun suicides, which comprise approximately two-thirds of all gun deaths in the United States. 

In 2016, Washington State passed a similar law, known as an “Extreme Risk Protection Order” (ERPO) law by voter initiative. In 2017, the Oregon legislature also enacted an ERPO law. Following the massacre of 17 individuals at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018, eight additional states enacted ERPO laws. The post-Parkland wave of ERPO enactment is likely to continue in upcoming legislative sessions. These, and future states, will likely look to California as an example of how to effectively implement this law and save lives.


During the two and a half years in which California’s GVRO law has been in effect, it has been used to disarm domestic abusers, individuals on the FBI’s terror watchlist, and suicidal family members. However, most orders have been obtained by law enforcement officers rather than family or household members. Because the GVRO was the first law of its kind to allow family or household members to petition a court for this type of order, a key component of its effectiveness is creating public awareness of the law and helping develop the systems that allow family and household members to utilize it. 

The Fellow will assist with the following implementation efforts:

  • Conduct outreach to California organizations serving at-risk individuals and their families
  • Train a network of service providers to help family and household members petition for GVROs in California, with an emphasis on services for at-risk individuals and in pro per petitioners, including conducting meetings with and trainings for legal service organizations, regional bar associations, and courthouse self-help centers
  • Help organizations develop resource materials for clients as well as training guides for attorneys
  • Help manage a network of volunteer attorneys, law students, and other individuals interested in helping implement GVRO/ERPO laws
  • Conduct CLEs for attorneys through bar associations and other organizations
  • Conduct trainings on GVROs for city attorneys and county counsel, as well as law enforcement agencies
  • Conduct outreach to the public directly to increase awareness of the GVRO law and available services including writing op-eds or other articles about the GVRO/ERPO law and, possibly, articles for professional journals
  • Leverage social media to conduct outreach about the GVRO
  • Review ERPO legislation from other states. Provide support to legislators and advocates including drafting ERPOs, presenting about ERPOs to out-of-state groups, and testifying at hearings
  • Draft an ERPO implementation toolkit to guide the growing number of states enacting ERPO laws across the country
  • Facilitate the formation of a coalition of stakeholders in one or more California communities that will meet regularly to coordinate services and ensure that key players in the community are communicating with each other and making the ERPO procedure available to residents


The Fellow should have excellent legal research, writing, and analytical skills. He or she should be highly organized with superior communication skills and possess a commitment to working in the public interest and reducing gun violence. Relevant past experience and a particular interest in gun violence prevention is also valuable. The position will require some travel in California and, possibly, out of state. 

Salary commensurate with experience and similar positions at legal nonprofits in the Bay Area. Competitive benefits include five weeks paid time off, health and dental insurance, healthcare and transit FSA, paid holidays, and 401k plan with employer match.

Professional Level

Entry level

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 pm, August 3, 2018 and must include a cover letter, resume, writing sample (up to 5 pages each), and contact information for three references, submitted to Brian Salkin at Candidates selected for an interview will be contacted by email or phone. No calls, please.