In light of the recent number of mass shootings and violent gun-related attacks, states have begun enacting tools to prevent gun tragedies before they occur. Maryland’s new Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) took effect on October 1, 2018. Read on to learn more about what an ERPO entails, and how you can apply for an ERPO in Maryland.
According to Maryland Courts, an Extreme Risk Protective Order is a court-issued civil order which temporarily requires a person to surrender firearms or ammunition to law enforcement and/or refrain from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition. An ERPO empowers families, individuals, and law enforcement officers to temporarily remove a person’s access to firearms and ammunition before they have the opportunity to commit violence.
An ERPO cannot order a person to refrain from committing abuse, refrain from contacting others or refrain from visiting others at their place of employment or school.
Filing an ERPO
An Extreme Risk Protective Order may be filed when the petitioner recognizes a respondent who poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to self or others by possessing firearms and ammunition. Potential risk factors of a respondent include but are not limited to alarming behavior, unlawful firearm possession, violence or threats of violence, violating peace or protective orders. The petitioner may file as a spouse, roommate, relative, intimate partner, legal guardian, law enforcement officer, or medical professional.
Maryland Protective Orders
An Extreme Risk Protective Order is temporary but can be extended for up to 12 months. If you believe you or a loved one is in danger of potential gun violence, obtain a Petition for Extreme Risk Protective Order (DC-ERPO-001) and both addendum forms from a District Court clerk or online. If you believe you are in danger, contact an attorney immediately so they may assist you with the processes.
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