The 2020 Legislative Session is officially underway, and it’s time to take action contacting legislators to support good bills!
One of Action Utah’s priority bills in 2020 is the Extreme Risk Protective Order (“ERPO,” also know as a “red flag” bill) bill by Rep. Steve Handy, which allows a family member or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily remove firearms from a person who poses a dangerous threat to themselves or others. This bill does three key things:
- Save lives – Research shows a reduction in firearm suicides by 7.5%-13.5% in other states – around 1 in 10 – and that for every 10 orders granted a life is saved.
- Provide a pathway to behavioral health services – 44% of respondents received behavioral health services after an order was filed who had not received them before.
- Protect Second Amendment Rights – Earlier intervention by ERPO reduces the risk of a respondent committing a crime that would make them a permanently prohibited person and ensures automatic return of firearms at the end of an order.
ERPOs are in place in 18 other states and the District of Columbia and have been proven through nearly two decades of court challenges to be constitutional and consistent with the 2nd, 4th and 14th Amendments. That’s why public health, mental health, suicide prevention and domestic violence experts strongly support ERPOs.
But legislators need to hear from constituents to support this good, life-saving policy!
Tell your state representative and state senator it is time for Utah to pass its Extreme Risk Protective Order bill!