Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Extreme Risk Protection Order

A university psychiatrist was so worried about James Holmes' behavior that in early June she began the process of getting the school's "threat assessment" team involved in his case. Holmes, charged with killing 12 people and wounding 58 others at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater on July 20, threatened a university psychiatrist about six weeks before the massacre and was barred from campus as a result.

Elliot Rodger’s parents battled in court over what sort of treatment their son should receive. Antipsychotic medication? More psychiatric treatment? In May 2014, Rodger used firearms as part of a mass killing near the University of California Santa Barbara campus.

In December 2014, Marcus Dee shot Nadia Ezaldein to death in a Nordstrom store then put the gun to his head and killed himself. Seven months earlier, a petition for a protection order against Dee stated that he physically abused Ezaldein; cracked her ribs, fractured her jaw, slashed her clothing, and shoved a gun in her mouth.

Virtually without exception, individuals who act out with a gun, either against others or themselves, exhibit signs that alert family or community members to the potential for violence. Under a new law introduced in the Washington State legislature, family members and law enforcement would be able to petition a court to temporarily suspend someone’s access to firearms based on documented, sworn evidence that they pose a threat to themselves or others.

Contact Sen Sharon Brown and Rep Dan Newhouse and ask that they support the “Extreme Risk Protection Order” legislation.

1 comment:

Richard Badalamente said...

I wrote to Sen David Frockt, thanking him for sponsoring this ERPO bill. Here's his response.

Dear Richard,

Thank you for writing me about the Extreme Risk Protection Order. I am glad to hear from you on this important issue because we as a community cannot tolerate one more preventable death.

I sponsored the Extreme Risk Protection Order (SB 5727) to keep guns away from individuals who are a risk to themselves or others because of severely impaired judgment or mental illness. The legislation would allow family members and law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove a person’s access to firearms when there is documented evidence that there are at an extreme risk to harm themselves or others. We cannot allow one more unnecessary death occur in our community.

Again, thank you for taking the time to connect with me about this important issue. I encourage you to continue your advocacy with others about this. Please feel free to contact me again in the future if you ever have questions, comments, or concerns I should be aware of.

Best regards,