Newtown, CT — Today, on the first anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, the House and Senate introduced the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Act.
The bill was sponsored by Representatives Salud Carbajal (CA-24), Ted Deutch (FL-22), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Don Beyer (VA-08) and Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA), Richard Blumenthal (CT), Chris Murphy (CT), Ed Markey (MA), Jeanne Shaheen (NH), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Bernie Sanders (VT), Kamala Harris (CA), Dick Durbin (IL), Tammy Baldwin (WI), Angus King (ME), Bob Casey (PA), Bob Menendez (NJ), Brian Schatz (HI), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Cory Booker (NJ), Chris Van Hollen (MD), Maggie Hassan (NH), Ben Cardin (MD) and Maria Cantwell (WA).
If passed, the ERPO Act would establish a grant program to expand laws across more states to allow family members or law enforcement officials to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from an individual in crisis. Additionally, the bill would ensure that law enforcement is trained on how to use these orders, including accessing all existing gun databases when assessing a tip, warning, or request.
Support for ERPOs has increased significantly since the Parkland shooting, but to date, Congress has yet to hold a formal vote on any bill. Meanwhile, nine states have passed ERPO laws since Parkland, bringing the total to 14 states that have enacted Extreme Risk Protection legislation.
In response to this introduction, Sandy Hook Promise, a leading gun violence prevention organization, issued the following statement:
“Sandy Hook Promise strongly supports this bipartisan legislation to expand Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) to more states across our country and strengthen implementation of these critical laws in existing states,” said Mark Barden, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise and father of Daniel who was killed in the Sandy Hook mass shooting. “Gun violence is preventable when we teach people to know the signs and get help for those at risk, but in most states, there is no legal mechanism to help separate an individual in crisis from the dangers of a firearm. We need to empower our families and law enforcement so that when they see a potential tragedy in the making, they can take action to save lives.”
About Sandy Hook Promise: Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) is a national nonprofit organization based in Newtown, Connecticut. SHP is led by several family members whose loved ones were killed in the tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012. SHP’s mission is to prevent gun violence and other forms of violence and victimization BEFORE they can happen by creating a culture of engaged youth and adults committed to identifying, intervening, and getting help for individuals who might be at risk of hurting themselves or others. SHP is a moderate, above-the-politics organization that supports sensible program and policy solutions that address the “human-side” of gun violence by
preventing individuals from ever getting to the point of picking up a firearm to hurt themselves or others. Our words, actions and impact nationwide are intended to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our tragedy into a moment of transformation. For more information, visit www.sandyhookpromise.org or call 203-304-9780.
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