Hi everyone. Welcome. My name is Rebecca Williams. I am the Director of Academic Innovation and Outreach with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. I'm joined here with Shannon Frattaroli. She is a core faculty member of our center, and she is our subject matter expert on extreme risk protection order laws, which will be the content of this teach-out. She has been working in gun violence prevention for 20 plus years, and she is really engaged in work with stakeholders in various states across the country on developing and implementing extreme risk protection order, what we refer to as preferable laws. This teach-out is all about extreme risk protection orders or ERPOs. Shannon, can you tell us our ERPOs? Good idea. Let's make sure we're all on the same page here. What we're calling ERPO actually go by a few different names. Although ERPO is most often used. In California, they refer to these order says Gun Violence Restraining Orders. In Illinois, the term Firearm Restraining Order or FRO is used, and in Florida, these orders are known as RPOs, Risk Protection Orders. These names all refer to the same type of law. I do want to mention that some people who are watching maybe wondering, "Are they talking about red flag laws?" What we call ERPO are also known as red flag laws. We prefer the term ERPO so we won't be using that other term, but know that it does refer to the same type of policy. What is an ERPO? An ERPO is a civil order that's issued by a court when someone is behaving dangerously and at risk of harming themselves, so this is a suicide incident, or other people. What that court ordered ERPO does is, it temporarily prohibits the respondent to the order whose the person who is behaving dangerously from purchasing and possessing guns. ERPOs allow those on the front-lines, law enforcement, and depending on the state, family members, health professional school administrators, to ask a court to prohibit a person at risk of violence from purchasing or possessing guns for a limited period of time. I got you. Why is this important for preventing gun violence? Well, we know that in most cases, violence develops on a trajectory. Most people who engage in violent behavior, whether it be a suicide or a mass shooting, do not wake up one morning and suddenly start engaging in violence that can be fatal. Rather, in most instances, dangerous behaviors come first. These dangerous behaviors are warning signs that they might be planning to threaten violence, they might be hurting animals, or they might be violent outbursts to name a few of the type of violent dangerous behaviors that we're looking for. The idea with ERPO is to empower those people who are on the front-lines of watching dangerous behaviors unfold with a tool that will give them access to a judge who can listen to their concerns and decide if court intervention is a reasonable next step in light of those risks. The bottom line is, we don't want to wait until after the violence has happened to act in those instances where there are clear signs that someone is in crisis and is at risk of hurting themselves or others. ERPO provides a mechanism for intervening early in response to dangerous behaviors to prevent violence before it happens. That makes sense. Can you remind me again, I think you might have mentioned. But who was able to actually ask the court for an ERPO? Sure, that's an important point. The idea is to identify those people who are best positioned to witness and recognize dangerous behaviors when they are happening. Different states have identified different groups of people in their ERPO laws. In all states law enforcement can petition. In most states family members and partners can petition. In other states and this is less common; clinicians, school administrators, coworkers, are named as eligible petitioners. It really depends on how policymakers wrote the laws in their states. I, see. What was the motivation behind doing this teach-out? What is it that you really hope participants will be able to take away from this experience? There's a lot of interest in our ERPO laws , interest really from all across the country. We want to make it easy for people to learn about these laws and to access information to help bring these laws to their communities. Towards that end, we've put together this learning experience to introduce ERPO, and to give participants a sense of how it works. We've brought in people who can speak from their experiences about how they are using ERPOs in their communities. Family members, law enforcement, and clinicians who are taking part in this teach out that will help participants assess whether this tool is right for their communities. For those who are interested in advancing ERPO use, our final lesson reviews concrete ways for participant to advocate for ERPO laws in their states. For those who live in states with an ERPO law in the books already, we also provide some ideas for how to support ERPO implementation. We want to provide participants with the basic information needed to understand what ERPO is, point people in the direction of resources for more information, and leave participants with some actionable strategies for how to support ERPO use locally. Sounds great. Dana can you just briefly describe how exactly ERPO laws work? Sure. Again, these are state laws. There's some variation and process among the states where ERPO laws are in place. Generally speaking, ERPOs involve filing a petition with the civil court, again, this isn't a criminal process so no one will have a criminal record from this, and explaining to a judge why you are asking the court to issue an ERPO. If the judge decides to issue an ERPO, a law enforcement officer will find the respondent and explain the terms of the ERPO, including that they can't purchase or possess guns while it's in effect, and that they need to appear in court for a hearing to determine if that ERPO will remain in place for a longer period of time, usually up to one year. If at that second hearing, after hearing from the respondent, the judge agrees that the ERPO should remain in place, the restriction on purchasing and possession remains. If the judge decides an ERPO isn't needed, the respondent can once again legally purchase and possess guns. We have a flowchart that explains this process that we can add to this site for the teach-out. Okay. Can you give some examples of cases where ERPOs have been used to intervene when someone was at risk of committing violence? I want to make sure that participants have a sense of how these are applied. It's just a little bit abstract. That's a great idea. What we're seeing is that these laws are being used most often in response to concerns that someone is going to hurt themselves. For example, I can remember one case where a man in his 40 's who had worked all of his life and supported his family, suddenly was out of work. Finding another job wasn't easy and the bills began piling up. He started drinking and making comments to his wife and mother-in-law about how the family would be better off without him. When he mentioned that he was going to be selling his tools so that he could buy a gun his wife called the police and explained the situation. She didn't know what to do. She had spent her entire adult life with this man and had never known him to talk about suicide. These threats were real, but she didn't know what to do. After talking with law enforcement, we agreed that an ERPO was a good strategy for keeping guns out of the mix while she got him help. We also know that ERPOs have been used when people are threatening to commit mass shooting events. I can think of an example where a student at a University made repeated comments to classmates about wanting to shoot and kill people at the school, comments that grew increasingly specific. ERPO was used in that case to prevent that person from buying guns while the authorities investigated those threats. Wow. You've mentioned a few times now about the variation across state laws. Right now how many states have ERPO laws on the books? We're recording in September 2020, and as of today, 19 states and the District of Columbia have ERPO laws in effect. Seventeen of those states and DC passed those laws since 2014. This is a law has recently really grown in popularity recently, which is why we wanted to focus on ERPO for this teach-out. Great, so let's get to the teach-out. What can viewers expect? We've organized this teach-out around five modules, beginning with this introductory session. Next, we want to give participants a sense for how ERPO works and how people who are authorized as petitioners are thinking about ERPO use in their community. You'll remember that we talked about the different groups of petitioners who are eligible to petition under the state ERPO laws. We have a module that focuses on clinicians. We'll see some role-plays that provide insight into how ERPO conversations happen between patients who are at risk of committing violence and their clinical providers. We'll also hear from law enforcement as petitioners, we'll hear from police officers and sheriffs who petition for ERPOs and serve them, we'll hear from a prosecutor who will talk about what ERPOs mean for his community and how they expand the range of law enforcement options, and we'll have a module that brings the voice of family and community members into this conversation. Our final module focuses on what participants can do to advance ERPO policy and policy implementation in their states. We've put this material together carefully to provide learners with the information they need to understand ERPO and the resources they need to take action in their communities. Great. Those are the modules that Shannon just explained. Participants will be accessing through the site and then we will conclude our teach-out with a live events that we have planned. That's right. Thanks for reminding me of that. We'll have a live discussion on October 30th, which is a Friday at three o'clock Eastern in the afternoon, in which we'll be responding to questions and comments from participants in this teach-out. What will make or break that session is what we hear from you all. I'm really looking forward to some great submissions throughout these sessions. Can you remind me and the participants tuning in here how they can submit their questions and comments? Of course, the greatest part about teach-out are really that they provide us an opportunity to all learn from one another by engaging in dialogue and asking questions, posting comments. Please post your questions and comments on the discussion forum as you work through the modules, we will pull from this directly to guide our conversation on the 30th. Great. Well, that sounds easy. Let's get started with the next videos in this module that provide more information about ERPO and highlight a great resource on this topic, which is our implement ERPO website. On that website we have more videos from implementers and fact sheets from states where ERPO laws exist, as well as links to media coverage of ERPO and the latest research. Great, thanks so much Shannon. Thank you.