In 2017, 993 Pennsylvanians committed suicide with a firearm. Of the 1636 firearms deaths across the Commonwealth in 2018, 61% were suicides, and the data shows that those living in rural Pennsylvania are most at risk. These mothers, fathers, grandparents, and siblings often exhibit signs or “red flags” that they are in crisis before taking their own lives.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) can save lives. Thirteen other states across the political spectrum have adopted Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) to help address the gaps in existing laws that can prevent getting help to those in crisis and to save lives.

I’ve introduced legislation to allow a court to take precautions when provided with clear and convincing evidence a subject poses an extreme risk to themselves or others. If a court issues an ERPO prohibiting an individual from possessing firearms, that information would be promptly submitted to the Pennsylvania State Police to prevent the individual from purchasing firearms as well.

Under the bill, a court could immediately issue a temporary ERPO, but it must follow up with a full expedited hearing where the subject of the order may participate and offer evidence and testimony before a final order is issued. Final orders must be as short as safety allows but may not last more than one year.

Under this process, a district attorney could represent the petitioner, while a public defender could represent the respondent at the hearing for a final order.


More information on ERPO  

House Bill 1075

Legislative Memo on Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Extreme Risk Protection Orders FAQs

My Letter to House Leadership

Stephens Blueprint to Prevent Gun Violence



Stephens Releases and Columns on ERPO

Stephens Renews Call for Extreme Risk Protection Orders to Disarm Dangerous People in PA

Stephens Landmark Gun Bill Passes House Judiciary Committee

Gun Reform Groups and District Attorneys Endorse Stephens’ Extreme Risk Protective Order Bill

It’s Time to Take Action on #ERPOinPA

Stephens Bill Would Allow Families, DA to Seek Removal of Firearms from Individuals Posing an Extreme Risk



ERPO in the News


On guns, California wants to be a model for states. Should that matter to Pennsylvania?

Raise red flags to prevent gun violence

House lawmakers considering bill to disarm people who might cause harm

Pennsylvania lawmakers eye tougher firearms bills related to mental health and domestic violence

Montco Republican's Gun Bill Gains National Attention

Pa. bill would take guns from people deemed ‘extreme risk’

PA lawmakers introduce legislation in response to Parkland shooting

Mass shooting reignites lobbying fight over gun control in Harrisburg and Washington