In 2017, Oregon enacted an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law that allows family or household members1 and law enforcement officers to petition courts for a civil order that prevents a person who has demonstrated a significant risk of harm from accessing firearms for up to one year.
In order to obtain an ERPO, the petitioner must file a sworn affidavit alleging that the respondent presents a risk in the near future, including an imminent risk, of suicide or of causing physical injury to another person. In determining whether the respondent poses this risk, the court must consider the following evidence:
- A history of suicide threats or attempts or acts of violence by the respondent directed against another person;
- A history of use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force by the respondent against another person;
- A previous conviction for:
- A violent misdemeanor that would subject someone to a gun prohibition under Or. Rev. Stat. § 166.470;
- A stalking offense or a similar offense in another jurisdiction;
- A domestic violence offense;
- Driving under the influence of intoxicants; or
- An offense involving cruelty or abuse of animals;
- Evidence of recent unlawful use of controlled substances;
- Previous unlawful and reckless use, display or brandishing of a deadly weapon by the respondent;
- A previous violation by the respondent of a domestic violence order;
- Evidence of an acquisition or attempted acquisition within the previous 180 days by the respondent of a deadly weapon; and
- Any additional information the court finds to be reliable, including a statement by the respondent.
If the court determines that the petitioner has met his or her burden by clear and convincing evidence, the court will issue an ERPO that prohibits the respondent from having in his or her custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing or receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive, a deadly weapon. The court may issue the ERPO on the same day the petition is submitted to the court or on the judicial business day immediately following the day the petition is filed without notice to the respondent.
If the respondent contests the ERPO, he or she has 30 days from being served with the order to request a hearing, and the hearing must occur within 21 days of the request. If the respondent does not request a hearing, the ERPO automatically becomes operative for one year from the date the original order was issued. The respondent may request one hearing to terminate the order during its 12-month effective period. The petitioner may also request a renewal of the order within the 90-period prior to the order’s expiration. If the petitioner requests a renewal of the order, the court will hold a hearing at which the petitioner bears the burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent still poses a risk in the near future of suicide or physical injury to others.
After an ERPO is issued, the court must order the respondent to relinquish, within 24 hours, all deadly weapons in his or her custody, control or possession to a law enforcement agency, a gun dealer, or a third party who may lawfully possess the deadly weapons. The respondnet must relinquish any Oregon concealed handgun licenses to law enforcement. If a law enforcement officer is serving the ERPO, he or she must request that the respondent immediately surrender weapons and licenses to the officer. If the respondent indicates an intent to surrender to a gun dealer or third-party, the respondent must identify the dealer or third party to the officer. If the officer takes possession, he or she must issue a receipt to the respondent and file a copy with the court that issued the order.
Upon termination of the ERPO, law enforcement holding any weapons will return the weapons to the respondent after performing a background check to ensure the respondent is legally permitted to possess firearms.
It is a misdemeanor to file for an ERPO with the intent to harass the respondent or knowing that the information in the petition is false.
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- Family or household member means a spouse, intimate partner, mother, father, child or sibling of the respondent, or any person living within the same household as the respondent. 2017 OR SB 719.