SEATTLE – Today Washington State Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America applauded the introduction of Extreme Risk Protection Orders legislation, which would give families and law enforcement a tool to request that a judge temporarily suspend firearm access for those proven to pose a danger to themselves and others. As Moms Demand Action prepares for an active legislative session, the Extreme Risk Protection Orders legislation represents a key component of Moms’ gun safety agenda.
“We can’t stop every act of violence, but Extreme Risk Protection Orders make it easier to prevent a tragedy from happening by giving people who are in a position to notice warning signs—like family members and law enforcement—a way to take action and potentially prevent gun violence,” said Leah Bernstein, Washington State Moms Demand Action Chapter Leader from Edmonds. “This measure will help us save lives in Washington while protecting Second Amendment rights, and as moms we urge our lawmakers to pass this important legislation as quickly as possible, for the safety of our kids, families and communities.”
“We can and must learn from past tragedies. In the mass shootings in Tucson, Aurora, the Navy Yard, and Santa Barbara, family members or law enforcement saw warning signs or even took steps to intervene—yet there was no system to prevent these individuals from acquiring or keeping weapons,” said Meredith Browand, a volunteer with Moms Demand Action in Port Orchard. “Extreme Risk Protection Orders will help prevent tragedies in Washington by empowering the people best equipped to detect when someone is experiencing a dangerous crisis.”
Many individuals who hurt themselves or someone else with a gun have demonstrated extremely risky behavior in the past, but current Washington law often leaves family members and law enforcement with no option to intervene in these cases.
Extreme Protection Risk Orders allow family members and law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if they have documented evidence that the person poses a serious threat to themselves or others. The Extreme Risk Protection Order is a familiar concept: It is modeled on Washington’s existing Family Protective Orders, and three other states have a form of this system in place today.