It’s about saving lives..
A new law that goes into effect January 1, 2020 will allow family members (households) and/or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from someone found to be dangerous to themselves or others. This law has the potential to save people at risk of gun suicide, as well as reduce homicides.
An Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) is a civil court order issued by a judge that temporarily prohibits a person in crisis from possessing or purchasing firearms. ERPOs provide families and law enforcement officers with a formal legal process to temporarily remove an individual’s firearms and reduce any further access to firearms if they pose a danger to themselves or others. The law went into effect on January 1, 2020.
An ERPO requires temporary removal of guns from the subject of the order and prohibits new purchases for the duration of the order. This creates safer circumstances for the individual to seek treatment, stabilize their behavior, or access resources to address the underlying causes of their dangerous behaviors. A temporary ERPO can last up to 14 days, while a continuing ERPO is one-year (and can be renewed beyond that) after a court hearing is held.
Households – Petitioning for an ERPO can be an important first step to reduce the risk of harm by a loved one if he/she is experiencing a crisis and there is a strong likelihood that a loved one would harm themselves or others. Households include:
You may also contact your local sheriff or police department to inform them of an unsafe situation.
Law Enforcement – Obtaining an ERPO can be a proactive way to prevent violence and protect yourself and your fellow officers if someone is demonstrating signs of being dangerous, such as suicidal thoughts, aggression, public threats of violence, or other unsafe behavior with firearms. As a law enforcement officer, you can obtain a temporary ERPO or a one-year ERPO that can be renewed.
A temporary ERPO is a type of protection order available to law enforcement and family members, which may be obtained with the approval of the judge within one court day after it was filed.
Request a petition from your local District or County Court or download the form online at: www.courts.state.co.us (click on self-help/forms)
Complete and submit the petition to a District or County Court in the county where the respondent (the person to be served with the ERPO) lives. There is no fee to file a petition.
If you file for a temporary ERPO, the court will hold a hearing on the petition within the next court day. The respondent will not be notified. The petitioner must attend in person or by phone depending on the circumstances. Within 14 days of the issuance of the temporary ERPO, the court will hold a hearing to determine whether the ERPO should be continued for a full year. The respondent will be notified of that subsequent hearing.
If the court issues an ERPO, the order requires the respondent to immediately surrender any firearms in the respondent’s custody or possession. Local law enforcement will serve the order together with any order for a future hearing.
Interested in learning more about ERPO or having one of our members speak to your organization or members of your community? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.