Senate Passes Extreme Risk Protection Order Legislation

BOSTON – The Senate on Thursday passed H.4539, An Act Relative to Firearms. This extreme risk protection order (ERPO) legislation would expand upon current Massachusetts gun laws by establishing a legal framework to prevent individuals, if deemed a threat to themselves or others, from accessing firearms.

“Students around our state and nation have led the charge on gun control reform. They led us to this moment, and helped ensure the continued strengthening of our laws in Massachusetts,” said Senator Pat Jehlen (D-Somerville). “In a nation where suicide by firearm happens far too often, where people are shot on their way home from work, and where children are killed while at school, there is no shortage of common-sense steps we can take to keep people safe. I look forward to seeing this bill become law.”

This legislation would close a gap in Massachusetts law. It would allow family members and law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily suspend an individual’s access to firearms if they are deemed a danger to themselves or others.

Similar laws already exist in five other states. As of this year, 32 ERPO bills were being considered by 19 states’ legislatures as well as Washington D.C.

The bill will now be reconciled with a version passed by the House of Representatives, before moving to the Governor for final approval.

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