August 18, 2017 News

The Columbian: Police Utilize Extreme Risk Protection Orders

The Columbian reported on one of the first uses of an Extreme Risk Protection Order in Clark County:

“When police were called to a residence in Vancouver’s Maplewood neighborhood on June 12, they were familiar with the address — it’s one they had been called to at least five times in the past three days. The woman at the home had previously claimed to be seeing people that officers had determined were not there. This time, though, the woman came to the front door and raised a loaded handgun at responding officers. She was taken into a mental health hold, but police have since taken further steps to ensure she and others are safe by removing the weapons from her home through an extreme risk protection order … 

Initiative 1491 [establishing Extreme Risk Protection Orders] was citizen-sponsored but backed by the Alliance for Gun Responsibility, which raised more than $4 million for the cause.

Renee Hopkins, the organization’s CEO, said that … when it comes to tragedies involving firearms — such as suicides, mass shootings and domestic violence homicides — there are usually warning signs prior to the violence. In Washington state, suicides make up 80 percent of firearm deaths.

“In our work, we hear from so many people … heartbreaking stories of family members who felt really powerless to protect their loved ones,” she said. “That’s compelling. It’s important to listen to people closest to crisis situations and help them get the tools that they can use to protect their loved ones.” … 

The initiative garnered the support of 64 percent of Clark County’s voters and passed into law with 69 percent approval across the state.”

Read more at The Columbian.