ERPO gun bill passes Mass. house

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The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a extreme risk protection order (ERPO) bill Wednesday that would allow a judge to confiscate a person’s gun if the person poses a danger to him- or herself or others.

The ERPO bill allows a family or household member to petition a district court judge to bar a licensed gun owner from possessing a gun or ammunition for up to a year. Once petitioned, the judge would hold a full hearing within 10 days of the order being granted to give the person a chance to respond and to decide whether to extend the order.

“Extreme risk protection orders are an important and necessary additional tool in the tool box for gun violence prevention in Massachusetts. We are grateful to the House, particularly Representative Decker, for filing this important legislation, and Speaker DeLeo, who has once again prioritized gun safety legislation and shown leadership on this issue in the commonwealth. Once enacted, this bill will fill a significant gap in our state’s gun laws, empowering families and law enforcement to meaningfully intervene when a gun owner is determined to pose an extreme risk to themselves or others, while ensuring due process for gun owners. Passage of this bill will further strengthen Massachusetts’ gun laws, which serve as a model for the nation in reducing gun violence,” Janet Goldenberg, chair of the Massachusetts Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, wrote in an email.