Montgomery County State Rep. Todd Stephens is sponsoring a measure to help families and police to better prevent suicides and gun violence.
The bill would create an Extreme Risk Protective Order or ERPO. Stephens says it’s clear that more must be done to confront the continuing issues from people with mental health who may cause a threat to themselves or others. The ERPO would permit a court to take the necessary actions when provided unequivocal evidence that the person in question causes an extreme risk to him or herself or others. If a court issues an ERPO prohibiting a person from possessing firearms, that information would be immediately sent to the Pennsylvania State Police to prevent the individual from purchasing firearms as well .Under the bill, the district attorney
would represent the petitioner, while a public defender would represent the respondent at the hearing for a final order. The bill will also impose criminal penalties on any person who files a petition for an ERPO that contains false statements.