In Washington State, three in every four firearm deaths are suicides. Access to firearms triples the risk of suicide. Empathetic conversation about firearm safety and mental health is associated with more people using safe gun storage, reducing the risk of preventable injury and death. Washington State provides three critical interventions to support an individual in crisis: Firearm Safe Storage, Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), and Voluntary Waiver of Firearm Rights (Voluntary Do-Not-Sell).
On this page, we will focus on Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs): ERPOs allow families or law enforcement to petition a judge to restrict individual possession and purchase of firearms using a civil order.
Click here to return to Three Interventions Toolkit homepage.
An Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), which voters approved in 2016 through Initiative 1491, is one way to protect someone you care about from harming themselves or others with firearms. Before and during times of crisis, ERPOs can help you intervene to keep the people you care about safe.
How to use an ERPO:
ERPOs can keep at-risk loved ones safe from a suicide attempt or an attempt to harm others with a firearm. ERPOs are an effective tool to prevent suicide. One study found that for every 10 to 20 ERPOs granted, 1 suicide was prevented. ERPOs may also be useful for preventing mass shootings, homicides, and intimate partner shootings.
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