Tomorrow morning, lawmakers on the Interim Joint Judiciary Committee will hold an informational hearing on Extreme Risk Protection Order (“ERPO”) legislation. Volunteers with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America plan to testify in support of the policy.
ERPO laws, also known as red flag laws, are saving lives in states that have them. The policy would allow family members and law enforcement officers who recognize dangerous warning signs to petition a court to temporarily keep guns out of the hands of people in crisis if the court finds that they pose a serious risk of harming themselves or others. ERPO laws have been shown to be an effective tool in preventing gun suicides.
Kentucky has the 15th highest rate of gun deaths in the United States. According to Everystat, a new interactive platform, nearly 700 people die by guns on average each year. What’s more, 69 percent of gun deaths in Kentucky are gun suicides. In Kentucky, there is an average of 18 hours between gun suicide deaths. A recent 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.
Volunteers with the Kentucky chapter of Moms Demand Action will be available for interviews around the hearing. If you have any questions about the policy, please don’t hesitate to reach out.