Are ERPOs the same as “red flag” laws?
Red flag laws are one name often given to ERPOs. Sandy Hook Promise avoids the term “red flag” because we believe all caution must be taken to ensure that these laws are not used to further perpetuate stigma or marginalize any person or community. The intent of these laws is to reduce risk and protect people in crisis from harming themselves or others. Therefore, members of the gun violence prevention movement call these laws “extreme risk laws” or “extreme risk protection orders,” instead of “red flag laws.”
What happens after an ERPO is issued?
After an ERPO is issued, law enforcement removes any existing firearms from the respondent’s possession and updates the background check system to temporarily prohibit purchases for the duration of the ERPO. Once the ERPO is terminated, the respondent has the right to have their firearms returned and the background check system is updated to signal the end of the ERPO.
What kind of evidence is needed?
When deciding to grant an ERPO, judges can consider, among other things: recent acts or threats of violence against self or others, patterns of violence over the past year, prior convictions of domestic violence, prior unlawful or reckless use of a firearm and previous violations of protection orders or no contact orders.2
Which States Have ERPO Laws?
As of July 2019, ERPOs or substantially similar legislation have been passed in 17 states (California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington), as well as the District of Columbia.