Table 2

Circumstances of the inciting events leading to a GVRO

Cases (n=202)*
n (%)
Target of harm
 Others alone109 (54.0)
 Self alone31 (15.3)
 Self and others51 (25.2)
 Other-directed targets (n=160)†
  Intimate partner47 (29.4)
  Random people37 (23.1)
  Other family member33 (20.6)
  Someone at work18 (11.2)
  Someone at school14 (8.8)
  Other specific person57 (35.6)
Threat details†
 Any threat173 (85.6)
 Threatening behaviour112 (55.4)
  …with a firearm69 (34.2)
  …without a weapon42 (20.8)
  …with another weapon13 (6.4)
 Verbal threat104 (51.5)
 Mail/email/text threat27 (13.4)
 Threat posted on social media11 (5.4)
 Other3 (1.5)
Potential mass shooting‡
 Yes58 (28.7)
 No136 (67.3)
Terrorism investigation
 Yes3 (1.5)
 No192 (95.0)
Sociopolitical or religious motivation
 Yes7 (3.5)
 No186 (92.1)
 Private residence119 (58.9)
 Workplace30 (14.9)
 Internet13 (6.4)
 Public place12 (5.9)
 School7 (3.5)
Child present
 Yes34 (16.8)
 No161 (79.7)
  • *201 unique respondents; one person had two distinct GVROs. Percentages are calculated with unknown (missing) values in the denominator.

  • †Categories are not mutually exclusive. Threat details were coded as (1) if present and otherwise left blank (0), so we cannot distinguish between ‘no’ and ‘unknown’.

  • ‡A potential mass shooting was defined as a threat to shoot an unspecified number of people or at least three people other than oneself.

  • GVRO, gun violence restraining order.