In 2016, Washington voters overwhelmingly approved of a law that enables individuals who are most likely to notice the warning signs of violence– family members– to petition a court to remove guns from a loved one in crisis.1 The law, called an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), allows family members, as well as law enforcement officers,2 to file a petition demonstrating to a judge that an individual (including, as of 2019, a minor3 poses a significant risk of harm to himself, herself, or others. If the court determines that the petitioner has met the standard of proof, it will issue an order that lasts up to one year. An individual subject to an ERPO must relinquish his or her guns to law enforcement.4
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- Rev. Code Wash. § 7.105.100
- Law enforcement officers may also file for an emergency ex parte order in domestic violence cases. Rev. Code Wash. § 10.99.040(5)(a).
- Any respondent under the age of eighteen may petition the court to have the court records sealed from public view.
- Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 7.105.340.