Case serves as an opportunity to remind the public of the importance of gun violence restraining orders
SAN FRANCISCO (February 23, 2023) — San Francisco City Attorney David Chiu announced today that the City Attorney’s Office is seeking a permanent Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) against Dmitri Valerie Mishin in connection with incidents at a Richmond District synagogue earlier this month and the Balboa Theatre in January.
If granted, the GVRO will remove firearms from Mishin and prevent him from owning or possessing firearms or ammunition for a period of up to five years. SFPD has obtained an emergency temporary GVRO against Mishin. Mishin is accused of firing blank ammunition rounds in a Richmond District synagogue, interrupting a class being taught to a group of synagogue elders on February 1. He is also reported to have made strange comments to synagogue officials about “the Mossad,” Israel’s intelligence agency. The prior day, on January 31, Mishin allegedly brandished a firearm inside of the Balboa Theatre. Media outlets have reported that social media accounts appearing to belong to Mishin have posted anti-Semitic content and Nazi propaganda.
Mishin was arrested by San Francisco police on February 3. The District Attorney’s Office has charged Mishin with two felony counts of making threats obstructing the exercise of religion, one count of misdemeanor disturbing a religious meeting, and five counts of misdemeanor brandishing a replica firearm. The District Attorney is seeking hate crime enhancements on the felony threats obstructing the exercise of religion.
“Mr. Mishin is a textbook example of someone who poses a risk to the public and should not have access to firearms,” said City Attorney David Chiu. “Our Office is ramping up our gun violence restraining order program, and this case serves as an opportunity to remind the public that GVROs are one of the most effective tools we have to prevent gun violence and save lives. I encourage anyone with information about a person with firearms who may pose a safety risk to themselves or others to contact SFPD with that information.”
Gun Violence Restraining Orders are obtained through civil court proceedings and can be used to remove firearms from individuals at risk of harming themselves or others. GVROs are one of the most important tools available to local governments to prevent gun violence.
Since San Francisco implemented its GVRO law in 2019, the City has used the law to remove firearms from 47 individuals who posed a danger to themselves or others. The City has seized firearms and ammunition in domestic violence situations, circumstances in which people expressed firm plans of suicide, and a road rage incident in which an individual threatened the life of a fellow motorist with a knife in front of a minor.
The City Attorney’s Office recently expanded the capacity of its GVRO program through increased budget funding secured by Supervisor Catherine Stefani. In October 2022, the Office hosted a GVRO training for local law enforcement agencies and other City agencies to raise awareness of GVROs and provide education on how to obtain these orders.
The City Attorney’s Office works with SFPD to determine when a GVRO might be necessary to protect public safety or an individual. The City encourages anyone who has information about an individual with firearms who poses a risk to themselves or others to report that information to SFPD. While many GVROs are sought through law enforcement, immediate family or household members, coworkers, employers, and teachers can petition the Court directly to obtain a GVRO.
San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Ulmer already granted a Temporary Gun Violence Restraining Order against Mishin. A hearing on the permanent GVRO is scheduled for February 23 at 9:00 a.m. in San Francisco Superior Court, Department 505.