Overview of ERPO Process
ERPO laws vary from state to state, but the process is similar for most petitioners.
ERPO laws are helping to prevent gun deaths and protect communities. Their implementation — in 17 states and the District of Columbia — is part of a national effort to reduce the daily loss of life due to firearm violence, including gun suicide.
This evolving resource will be frequently updated to help implementers take action — and save lives.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia* have enacted Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws to allow those on the front lines — law enforcement and, depending on the jurisdiction, family members, health professionals, and school administrators — to ask a court to prevent a person, who is at risk of violence to self (including suicide) or to others, from purchasing or possessing firearms.
A Focus on Implementation
Effective gun violence prevention strategies are one of our nation’s most pressing needs in the 21st century. While many questions remain about the causes and consequences of gun violence and how to prevent it, evidence-informed policies with the potential to save lives do exist.
State laws that provide for Extreme Risk Protection Orders (also known as Gun Violence Restraining Orders and Risk Warrants) are one example of a promising, evidence-informed gun violence prevention policy.
In 2013, the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy responded to the Sandy Hook massacre by reviewing the evidence on risk factors for gun violence and developing a set of recommendations for action that would impact all forms of gun violence. Included in those recommendations was a call for states to pass a new type of policy to allow law enforcement and family members to petition civil courts for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) when someone is behaving dangerously and at risk of self-harm (suicide) or harming others.
As detailed in a widely disseminated report, the Consortium developed the ERPO recommendation based on the Domestic Violence Restraining Order policies in place in all 50 states, and laws in Connecticut and Indiana that provide law enforcement with a mechanism to temporarily remove guns when an individual is responding dangerously. Through our work with the Consortium, we have met with stakeholders and policymakers in states across the country to discuss ERPO. As of May 2019, six years since the Consortium released its report, 13 states and the District of Columbia have passed new ERPO laws. Dozens more states have introduced ERPO bills.
With many laws in place, and several additional states poised to enact ERPO laws, there is a need for information, technical assistance, and support for implementing ERPO laws. We created this project to address that need. This website is designed as a central resource for ERPO implementers. Information about different state ERPO laws can be found here, along with ERPO research, media coverage, training resources, and advice from law enforcement professionals who are leading the nation’s ERPO implementation efforts. We even have space for implementers to blog about their experiences. We will be updating this site often as new information and developments in ERPO implementation evolve. Thank you for your interest in this exciting new gun violence prevention strategy.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence