Congratulations! You did it! SB 719, the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill, just passed the Oregon House. Governor Kate Brown is expected to sign the bill.
Your phone calls, emails, and meetings supporting SB 719, the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill worked!
Oregonians now have an important tool to help reduce suicide, domestic violence, and shootings. The Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bill will enable families and law enforcement to prevent tragedies by petitioning a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms and other dangerous weapons.
People who are thinking of killing themselves or harming others often often show signs or declare their intentions well before committing the act. The first people to see those signs are often family members. An ERPO gives families and law enforcement a chance to intervene and perhaps prevent a tragedy. In Oregon, where suicide is 85% of all gunshot deaths, temporarily removing access to guns is especially important to prevent suicide.
In November 2016, Washington state voters passed Initiative 14911 (an ERPO law) by a 40 point margin (70% to 30%). Indiana and Connecticut2 also have versions of ERPO. In 2014, California passed AB 1014,3 called a Gun Violence Restraining Order, in response to a killing rampage earlier that year in Isla Vista.
Since Connecticut enacted their ERPO bill in 1999, police have issued 762 orders, which helped save dozens of lives.4
Once an ERPO has been filed, a court must find clear and convincing evidence that an individual is threatening harm to self or others, before the court can order the respondent to temporarily surrender any guns to the police. The respondent will not be able to buy, sell, or possess other firearms for a temporary period of time.
SB 719 will protect gun owners from false applications of ERPO and provide due process. False applications of ERPO or violation of ERPO are punishable by one year’s imprisonment, $6,250 fine or both. The bill establishes procedures for the respondent to request a hearing. The burden of proof is on the petitioner to show clear and convincing evidence.
Passing this bill is the culmination of work by many gun violence prevention advocates including the family of Laura Magee, Melissa Keyser, Central Coast Ceasefire Oregon, Ceasefire Oregon, Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety, Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership, League of Women Voters of Oregon, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Oregon Brady Campaign, Ecumenical Ministries, Pastor Mark Knutson, Rev. Lynne Smouse Lopez, Rev. Chuck Currie, Moms Demand Action, and Everytown for Gun Safety.
But here’s the crucial truth: this bill would not have passed without the support of gun violence prevention advocates like YOU.
Thank you and congratulations!
Penny, Joanne, and the entire Ceasefire Oregon Team!
Swanson, Jeffrey W. and Norko, Michael and Lin, Hsiu-Ju and Alanis-Hirsch, Kelly and Frisman, Linda and Baranoski, Madelon and Easter, Michele and Gilbert, Allison and Swartz, Marvin and Bonnie, Richard J., Implementation and Effectiveness of Connecticut’s Risk-Based Gun Removal Law: Does it Prevent Suicides? (August 24, 2016). Law and Contemporary Problems, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2828847