Michigan Implements New Legislation on Emergency Risk Protection Orders

On February 13, 2024, Michigan enacted a “red flag law”, formally known as Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws. ERPO laws authorize civil courts to temporarily prevent people at risk of harming themselves or others from possessing or purchasing firearms. In Michigan, the ERPO law allows law enforcement, families and household members, and healthcare providers to file an ERPO petition. ERPOs are filed only in rare instances when an imminent threat to an individual arises from the presence of firearms.

Resilience’s team of advocates have quickly immersed themselves with hands-on experience, actively assisting in securing Emergency Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) in Ottawa County. If you need support or guidance while filing for an ERPO, our dedicated team is available to assist you during Resilience’s Walk-In Advocacy Hours, Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM. It’s important to note that in cases of domestic violence, we highly recommend pursuing a Personal Protection Order concurrently. While an ERPO solely addresses the removal of firearms, it does not mandate for the individual to maintain distance, a provision that is covered by a Personal Protection Order.

“Extreme risk protection orders have been proven to reduce suicides, save lives, and keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and violent criminals. Only thoughts and prayers aren’t enough. Let’s keep taking commonsense action to reduce gun violence and keep families and communities safe.” – Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer

ERPOs for Domestic Violence: Family or household members of the person at risk of harming themselves or others can file an ERPO petition. This includes current and former spouses, current and former dating partners, current and former roommates, someone who has a child with the person at risk, legal guardians, and immediate family members including grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins.

If an ERPO is approved, the person served must turn in all of their firearms to law enforcement within 24 hours if they had any. If allowed by the court, they may turn in their firearms to a licensed firearm dealer instead.  The court may specify that firearms must be turned in immediately, in which case a member of law enforcement will serve the ERPO. In this case, the court may also grant an anticipatory search warrant to the law enforcement officer to search the person who was served the order’s property for any firearms if the person does not comply with the ERPO. If the person served the ERPO does not follow the order, they may face penalties, including fines and even jail time.

More information about ERPOs can be found at https://firearminjury.umich.edu/michigan-erpo-info/

Need help filing for an Emergency Risk Protection Order?

Resilience’s advocates stand ready 24/7 to provide help and support for domestic violence. For immediate support, please call our 24-hour Help Line at 1-800-848-5991 or stop by the Holland Program Office (411 Butternut Dr., Holland, MI 49424) Monday-Friday between 9AM-5PM for assistance with filing Personal Protection Orders and Emergency Risk Protection Orders. Support in Spanish and translation services for all languages are available.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911.