How Does ERPO Work?
ERPO gives families and law enforcement officers a way to ask a judge to temporarily prohibit an at-risk person from purchasing or possessing a gun. ERPO is a non-criminal process that involves a court hearing and clearly defined due process protections.
How Can ERPO Save Lives?
Extreme risk protection orders are particularly effective in preventing suicides and mass shootings.
Temporarily removing access to firearms from someone who is at risk for suicide prevents suicide because
- 90% of suicide attempts using a gun are fatal compared to 5% of most common alternative methods.
- Suicidal acts are often impulsive and fleeting.
- Just 10% of those who survive a suicide attempt die by suicide later.
Does ERPO Violate Our Constitutional Rights?
No, ERPO does not violate any rights.
The Supreme Court ruled in D.C. vs. Heller that the 2nd Amendment allows for firearm restrictions that are “presumptively lawful.”
ERPO follows due process through the court system by allowing a judge to make an informed decision to temporarily remove firearms from people posing an imminent threat.
Doesn’t Law Enforcement Already Remove Firearms From People Who Pose a Threat?
Sometimes. But, municipalities have been sued for this because they do not have the legal backing ERPO provides. Meanwhile, Chapter 51, which is sometimes invoked by law enforcement, is more complex than ERPO and is often inadequate for providing safety to someone who is suicidal.