Extreme Risk Protection Orders: New Recommendations for Policy and Implementation

Oct 01, 2020
  • Description

In 2013, the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy (Consortium) developed andrecommended that states enact a novel risk-based firearm removal policy called the gunviolence restraining order, now widely known as the extreme risk protection order or byits acronym, ERPO (or extreme risk law or red flag law). ERPO laws allow law enforcement officials, and in some states family and household members, among others, to petition a court for a civil order to temporarily remove firearms from, and prevent the purchase of additional firearms by, individuals who are at risk of harming themselves and/or others. This groundbreaking policy was inspired by precursor policies in Connecticut and Indiana, modeled on domestic violence protection orders found nationwide, and grounded in research regarding evidence-based risk factors for both interpersonal and self-directed violence.

As states enact and implement ERPO laws, there has been predictable variation in howthe laws are written and implemented, reflecting states' diverse needs, priorities, andbarriers to implementation. These differences, however, have raised questions aboutbest practices, and stakeholders have turned to the Consortium for specific guidance. Inresponse, the Consortium undertook a review of available research and legal scholarship, solicited expert guidance and stakeholder perspectives, and discussed these findings during an in-person meeting in January 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. This report provides new consensus recommendations to address contemporary issues in ERPO policy and implementation.