For Immediate Release
Contact: Eileen McCarron
303-946-6959 or 303-377-7697
DENVER – The Colorado House on Monday gave final approval, by a 38-to-25 vote, to HB19-
1177. The Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) bill would enable families and law
enforcement to seek protection orders to temporarily remove firearms from people who are
dangerous to themselves and others. If enacted, the law would reduce gun violence and
firearm suicides in the state. The bill is named the Deputy Zackari Parrish, III, Violence
Prevention Act in memory of Deputy Parrish, who was shot and killed in an ambush a year ago.
“ERPO can prevent people who are a threat to the public from causing more tragedies,” said
Tom Mauser, Colorado Ceasefire Spokesperson and the father of Daniel Mauser who was one
of the 12 Columbine High School students killed in 1999. “When you have lost a loved one to
gun violence, as I have, there’s a burning question that haunts you: what could have been done
to prevent this?”
“ERPO is something we can do and should do,” said Mauser.
Colorado Ceasefire has been advocating for an extreme risk protection orders law since
2016. The bill now moves to the Colorado Senate for consideration. The Colorado House
approved a similar bill last year, but the measure failed in the Republican-controlled Senate.
This year, Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate.
Under ERPO, a family member or law enforcement could ask a civil court judge to temporarily remove
firearms from an owner who poses a significant danger to self or others. A hearing would be held within
14 days to determine if the respondent continued to pose a threat. If so, a full 364-day ERPO could be
ordered. If not, firearms would be returned to the respondent.
Fourteen other states have enacted similar laws, including Florida and four other Republican
controlled states. Nineteen other states are considering ERPO laws this year. Early data show
that these bills save lives. For example, in 2018, according to the Associated Press, Maryland’s
ERPO bill was used to remove guns in five instances related to schools. In four of those, the
threat to students was deemed “significant.”
“Those who contemplate murder, or mass murder, put out warning signs. This bill gives us the
chance to act before they do,” said Dr. David Iverson, a Denver psychiatrist who has worked
with victims of mass shootings and is on the board of Colorado Ceasefire. “ERPO would give us
a chance to make a specific, well-timed intervention in an emergency as it is unfolding. This is
an incredibly important and helpful step.”
Colorado Ceasefire, an all-volunteer statewide organization, has been working for freedom from gun violence since 2000. Ceasefire initiated and was instrumental in the enactment of the 2013 Colorado firearms laws, which included universal background checks, a high capacity magazine ban, and domestic violence firearms relinquishment. Ceasefire began advocating for an Extreme Risk (red flag) law in 2016. Learn more at www.coloradoceasefire.org
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