On Wednesday, lawmakers on New Hampshire’s Criminal Judiciary Committee will have an opportunity to advance Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) legislation, after the legislation was deferred to a summer work session for further discussion. Volunteers with the New Hampshire Moms Demand Action will be at the statehouse on Wednesday for the committee vote and are available for media interviews regarding the legislation.
Lawmakers have a chance to take meaningful action on gun violence, after Governor Sununu vetoed bipartisan gun safety legislation in August and a horrific shooting where two people were wounded at a wedding ceremony in Pelham. The bill would allow family members and law enforcement officers to petition a court to temporarily keep guns out of the hands of people in crisis when there is evidence that they pose a serious risk of harming themselves or others.
ERPO laws, also known as red flag laws, are saving lives in states that have them. Currently, 17 states and D.C. have enacted Extreme Risk laws — including the neighboring state of Vermont, where Republican Governor Phil Scott signed the legislation into law in 2018. The policy continues to receive bipartisan support from lawmakers across the country.
ERPO laws have been shown to be an effective tool in preventing gun suicides. New Hampshire’s rate of gun suicide is 17 percent higher than the national average and 90 percent of gun deaths in the state are suicides. A new report also recommends ERPO legislation as a way to prevent gun suicide by Veterans, who are 1.5 times more likely to die by suicide than non-veterans.
If you have any questions about the legislation or would like to speak with a volunteer with New Hampshire Moms Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.