Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on June 27, 2018, Delaware enacted an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law that enables individuals who are most likely to notice the warning signs of violence– family and household members and law enforcement officers– to petition a court to remove guns from a person in crisis. In Delaware, these orders are called Lethal Violence Protection Orders. If the court determines that the person (known as a “respondent”) poses a significant risk of harm to himself, herself, or others, it will issue an order prohibiting the respondent from purchasing or possessing guns for one year.1 An individual subject to an ERPO must relinquish his or her guns to law enforcement. Law enforcement officers may also petition for an emergency order, which only requires a finding by a preponderance of the evidence that there is an immediate and present danger.2 An emergency order lasts for fifteen days, and can be extended up to forty-five days.3
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- Del. Code Ann. tit. 10 § 7704.
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 10 § 7703.
- Del. Code Ann. tit. 10 § 7703(f).