ERPO Users

ERPO implementers vary from state to state; however, successful ERPO implementation requires the collaboration of a variety of stakeholders. Each of these partners have an important role in successful ERPO implementation.

  1. Illustration of a law enforcement badge Law Enforcement In every state with an ERPO law, law enforcement may petition the court to issue an ERPO to temporarily restrict an individual’s access to firearms when they are behaving dangerously or when they are at an elevated risk of harm to self or others. In most states, law enforcement are also responsible for serving the ERPO petition and removing the firearms from ERPO respondents’ possession.
  2. Illustration of a gavel Judicial Officers Judges, magistrates, commissioners, and other judicial officers weigh the evidence and determine whether to grant or deny the petition for an ERPO.
  3. Illustration of two hands shaking Family and Household Members In 16 states, family and household members are eligible to petition for ERPOs when they are concerned about their family or household members accessing firearms. In all states, family members can play a critical role in ensuring the safety of individuals whose access to firearms may pose a threat to themselves or others.
  4. Illustration of a stethoscope Clinicians The definition of clinician varies somewhat by state statutes, but typically includes physicians, licensed clinical social workers, and credentialed therapists. In some states, clinicians may petition for an ERPO for a patient that is behaving dangerously or at an elevated risk of harm to self or others. In other states, clinicians can work with law enforcement to initiate an ERPO.
  5. Illustration of a briefcase Attorneys Attorneys present the evidence to the court, often on behalf of law enforcement petitioners. Respondents also have the right to counsel, at no cost to the government.
  6. Illustration of a clipboard and pen Social Service Providers Social service providers, including social workers, advocates, and individuals working at community response organizations, play an important role in helping respondents and their families navigate the system, connect to other resources, such as domestic violence or mental health programs and services, and, in some states, even file for an ERPO.