FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2020
(p) 202-408-0061 Ext. 1017
Extreme Risk Protection Order Passes Final Hurdle; Heads to Governor Northam’s Desk
SB 674 passes Senate by a vote of 21-20 with Lieutenant Governor Fairfax breaking tie.
Richmond, Virginia (February 27, 2020) – Today, the Commonwealth of Virginia became the 19th state to pass life-saving Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) legislation. This policy establishes a court process to temporarily remove firearms and restrict their purchase while an individual is at a heightened risk of danger toward self or others. New Mexico signed ERPO legislation into law earlier this week.
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and its sister organization, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, helped develop the modern version of ERPO by convening the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. A history of the development of ERPO laws can be found here.
Our organization has been working to pass this vital gun violence prevention tool in Virginia since the 2015 session and has worked with lawmakers and allies to introduce ERPO legislation each session for the past five years.
Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Virginia State Director Lori Haas issued the following statement:
“Today, Virginia became the 19th state in the nation to pass an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law. This life-saving tool has been proven to prevent firearm suicide and has shown great promise at preventing mass shootings.
“Since 2015, I have been standing in front of members of the General Assembly pleading for them to look at the evidence and data. If this legislation had passed five years ago, more Virginians would be alive today.
“From Virginia Tech to Virginia Beach, the commonwealth has seen high profile tragedies far too often. This law will not only provide a tool to prevent such tragedies but also one to address the high rate of gun suicides in Virginia.
“The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is confident that Governor Northam and members of the administration will work quickly to robustly implement this law and train the stakeholders needed to make it successful. We look forward to working with them in this effort.
“Thank you to Senator Barker, Senator Surovell, Delegate Rip Sullivan, Governor Northam, and Director of Public Safety Brian Moran for their support and commitment. A special recognition for all the work our staff has done over the past half decade to make this law a reality including our Executive Director Josh Horwitz and Senior Director of Law and Policy Kelly Roskam. And finally, thank you to all the advocates and activists around Virginia who made their voices heard in the November elections and in the halls and offices of the General Assembly.
“Today has been a long time coming, but our hard work has finally paid off. When this legislation takes effect, Virginia families and law enforcement will have a tool with which to save lives.”
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization. Follow them on Twitter at @CSGV and Instagram @coalitiontostopgunviolence