Extreme risk laws allow for the temporary removal of guns from people in crisis
June 4, 2019— Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization led by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, praised the introduction of the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019 by Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA). The Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act would allow federal courts to issue extreme risk protection orders. Extreme risk laws empower law enforcement and family members to petition courts to temporarily suspend an individual’s access to guns if that individual is at an elevated risk of endangering themselves or others. These laws are proven to save lives while ensuring critical legal protections for respondents.
“The fear of gun violence has become a sad, daily reality for families and communities across the country,” said Robin Lloyd, Managing Director at Giffords. “Law enforcement and family members are often the first to notice when a person is showing warning signs. It’s critical that they have the power to petition all courts — at the federal, state, and local levels — to intervene and possibly prevent a tragedy. Too many lives have been lost to gun suicides or mass shootings, but extreme risk laws can help prevent these terrible moments from happening in the future. We appreciate Congresswoman McBath for her leadership and urge Congress to swiftly pass this bill.”
After the tragic shooting in Parkland, FL last year, bipartisan extreme risk bills were signed into law across the country, including five in states with Republican governors. Fifteen states—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington—and the District of Columbia now have some version of an extreme risk law. The Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act would allow law enforcement and family members to petition federal courts across the country, filling a critical gap in states which have not yet enacted their own extreme risk law. In addition to Representative McBath, the Federal Extreme Risk Protection Order Act is sponsored by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Madeleine Dean (D-PA), Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Gil Cisneros (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Jason Crow (D-CO), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA).
- Giffords Law Center: Extreme Risk Protection Orders
- Letter: Law Enforcement Leaders Call on Congressional Leaders to Move Swiftly to Support the Enactment of Extreme Risk Laws