In 2019, the District of Columbia enacted a law that enables certain individuals to petition a court to remove guns from a person in crisis. The law, called an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), allows a law enforcement officer, family member, dating partner, household member, or mental health professional to file a petition demonstrating to a judge that an individual poses a danger to himself, herself, or others.1 If the court determines that the petitioner has met the standard of proof, it will issue an order that lasts up to one year. An individual subject to an ERPO (called a respondent) must relinquish his or her guns to law enforcement and will be prohibited from possessing firearms for the duration of the order. A court may also issue a search warrant which directs law enforcement to search for guns, registration certificates, concealed carry licenses, and firearms dealer licenses in the respondent’s possession.2
A temporary ERPO can be obtained without notice to the respondent and, with exceptions, lasts no later than 14 days during which time the court must hold a hearing to determine whether to issue a year-long order.3
The respondent can submit one request during the period of the order to hold a hearing to terminate the order early.4
Read more about Extreme Risk Protection Orders on our policy page.