Extreme risk protection order: What to know if needed

New toolkit developed by the University of Michigan provides guidance, understanding of Michigan’s two-month-old red flag law

The University of Michigan has published a web-based toolkit designed to support the use and implementation of Michigan’s new extreme risk protection order, or ERPO, law.

Also known as a red flag law, Michigan’s ERPO law went into effect in February with the goal of intervening when someone is at risk of using a firearm to harm themselves or others.

The free digital toolkit , developed by the U-M Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention , provides guidance on Michigan’s ERPO policies and protocols, how and when to file an ERPO, and information for families, health care providers and networks, schools and law enforcement and government agencies. The toolkit also provides crisis assistance resources.

"Extreme risk protection orders have been shown to be an effective tool in preventing firearm-involved suicides,- said April Zeoli , associate professor of health management and policy at U-M’s School of Public Health and policy core director at the institute.

Families and household members, including current and former spouses, dating partners and roommates, and anyone who has a child with the person at risk, can petition a court to issue an extreme risk protection order. Law enforcement officials and health care providers, including licensed mental health workers, can also petition a court for a protection order.

For individuals being served an ERPO, which is a civil action and does not generate a criminal record, the toolkit provides information on what the order means for respondents, what steps typically need to be taken as the respondent, and what protections are available for respondents.

ERPO laws have been passed in 21 states and Washington, D.C. The toolkit includes a list of those state’s laws.

has shown that when there is proper implementation and rigorous training, ERPOs are used as intended.

"Ensuring these laws are evidence-based and the implementation is carried out appropriately is key to ERPOs being used effectively,- Zeoli said. "We are proud to launch this resource to help all Michiganders learn about this new law, what it means, how it can be used and why this prevention strategy is used by 21 other states to assist in reducing firearm death and injury.-