Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) prevent individuals at high risk of harming themselves or others from accessing firearms by allowing family, household members, and police to obtain a court order when there is demonstrated evidence that the person poses a significant danger.
Family or household members and Law Enforcement Officers may obtain an ERPO when there is evidence that the person poses a significant danger, including danger because of a dangerous mental health crisis or violent behavior. The purpose and intent is to reduce gun deaths and injuries through an order temporarily restricting a person's access to firearms.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders are available statewide and are not limited to Lynnwood.
What can an Extreme Risk Protection Order do?
An Extreme Risk Protection Order directs a person to surrender their firearms. It would be illegal to purchase or have control of firearms. It restrains the person from obtaining a concealed pistol license and orders them to surrender a license if they already have one.
Who is it filed against?
A person who poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to self or others in the near future by having firearms. Factors that demonstrate such a risk can include violent behavior, threats of self-harm, dangerous mental health crisis, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. The person who is alleged to be dangerous is called the respondent.
Who can request the order?
A family or household member or a law enforcement officer or agency may ask the court to issue an order by filing a petition. The person requesting the order is referred to as the "petitioner." The law defines a family or household member as:
- person related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the respondent;
- dating partner of the respondent;
- person who has a child in common with the respondent, regardless of whether such person has been married to the respondent or has lived together with the respondent at any time;
- person who resides or has resided with the respondent within the past year;
- domestic partner of the respondent;
- person who has a biological or legal parent-child relationship with the respondent, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren, or;
- a person who is acting or has acted as the respondent's legal guardian.
If you do not have the necessary relationship, or are not comfortable asking the court for an order, you can tell police about the situation and they can assist in the process.