May 20, 2019 Blog
In 2016, Washingtonians passed a landmark gun violence prevention law, which set the stage for national gun violence prevention changes. That law, Initiative 1491, established Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) in our state, making Washington only the fourth state to create such a law. Our law allows families and law enforcement to ask the courts to remove firearms from people in crisis, giving them time to recover, and saving lives.
In some counties, the law is well-utilized and has been effectively implemented, but in others it is an almost unknown tool. In 2018, it became clear that despite almost 70% of Washington voters voting in favor of the law, not enough people in our state were aware of the life-saving potential of ERPOs. With our partners in law enforcement and implementation, we started developing a user-friendly website to make sure that people were better able to understand the ERPO process.
GunProtectionOrder.org was created to provide the most relevant information for petitioners seeking an ERPO, and respondents who have been served with an order. The site is designed to be a clear, easy-to-use resource for everyday people struggling with an often too complex legal system. Providing users with a glossary, resources, and answers to frequently asked questions, GunProtectionOrder.org is built to help.
The site is part of the Alliance for Gun Responsibility’s larger commitment to make sure that not only does Washington have strong, effective gun violence prevention laws in place, but that Washingtonians can also access the resources they need to take advantage of those laws. Alongside our work to fully implement the laws we help pass (the work of preventing gun violence really is only just starting when a law is passed!), GunProtectionOrder.org will save lives in Washington.
–Tallman Trask is the Policy and Advocacy Director at the Alliance for Gun Responsibility.