What is Michigan's Extreme Risk Protection Order Act?

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill package into law designed to curb gun violence in the state. The package, which is also known as Michigan’s “Red flag laws,” includes legislation that allows specific individuals to file a request for an extreme risk protection order (ERPO) with the circuit court if “evidence supports that a respondent poses a significant risk of self-injury or injury to others by possessing a firearm.”

What is the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act?

The Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Act prohibits restrained individuals from possessing or purchasing a firearm, among other prohibitions.

According to the Act, when an individual is under extreme duress, certain people, such as family members, are often the first to notice. “Red flag” laws purport to prevent suicide and violence perpetrated by an individual under extreme duress by allowing people who are close to the individual to petition the court to issue an ERPO against him or her.

The Act allows the following individuals to file an action with the circuit court requesting the court enter an ERPO:

  • A spouse or former spouse;
  • An individual who has a child in common with the respondent;
  • An individual who is or has dated the respondent;
  • Family members and guardians of the respondent;
  • Law enforcement officers; and
  • Mental health professionals.

What does the court consider when issuing an ERPO?

The court would consider the following when determining whether to issue an ERPO, including any:

  • History of use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force by the respondent against another individual, regardless of whether the violence or threat of violence involved a firearm;
  • Evidence of mental illness;
  • Previous ERPO or personal protection order;
  • Previous or existing pretrial order, probation order, parole order, or another injunctive order;
  • Evidence of excessive alcohol use or evidence of unlawful use of controlled substances;
  • Previous or unlawful or reckless use, display, or brandishing of a deadly weapon;
  • Evidence that the individual acquired or attempted to acquire a deadly weapon;
  • Previous or existing criminal charges or juvenile delinquency petitions against the individual,
  • Attempted commission of an offense that had an assaultive element or an element involving a threat to person or property; or
  • Any additional information or facts that the court believes are relevant.

If the court determines that the individual poses a significant risk of personal injury to himself or herself or others by possessing a firearm, the extreme risk protection order would prohibit the restrained individual from possessing or purchasing a firearm, among other prohibitions, while the order is in effect.

Under the Act, law enforcement agencies would be responsible for the removal of a firearm or firearms from a restrained individual. In addition, dealers are prohibited from selling firearms to restrained individuals. Please revisit our blog in the upcoming months for more information regarding how the ERPO Act affects law enforcement agencies and business owners.

Help is available

The attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer questions regarding changes in Michigan law. For more information, call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

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