How Do Extreme Risk Laws Work? 

Extreme risk laws (sometimes referred to as red flag laws) give families and law enforcement officers a way to ask a judge to temporarily prohibit an at-risk person from purchasing or possessing a gun. This is a non-criminal process that involves a court hearing and clearly defined due process protections.

How Can Extreme Risk Laws Save Lives?

Extreme risk laws are particularly effective in preventing suicide 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.

Second Amendment

The Supreme Court ruled in D.C. vs. Heller that the 2nd Amendment allows for firearm restrictions that are “presumptively lawful.”

Due Process

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.

What Can I Do?

Demand that Wisconsin lawmakers pass an extreme risk law. Signing this petition will help us remind legislators that people want an extreme risk law to protect their loved ones. 

Extreme Risk Law Printable Fact Sheet