The time is now for Massachusetts to pass an Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) bill.

Dear Editor:

The time is now for Massachusetts to pass an Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) bill. While Congress has failed in its duty to protect the public from gun violence, state legislatures like Massachusetts have stepped up to enact stronger laws. Unfortunately, federal action is still necessary, because guns are easily transported across state lines. Numerous studies have shown that states with strong gun laws that restrict who can legally own guns have the lowest rates of gun violence.

As many of you know, my youngest son is a sophomore at Waltham High School. After a string of senseless gun violence tragedies, parents want to make sure their children are safe at school. In addition to our students and children, we need to protect our administrators, teachers and everyone who works in our schools.

This is why I am supporting H.3610, a bill filed by Rep. Decker of Cambridge. This legislation fills a gap in Massachusetts’ laws by initiating a stronger preventative measure through the judicial system. An ERPO is a court-issued civil order that would empower Massachusetts families and law enforcement to prevent gun tragedies by reducing access to guns for individuals at an elevated risk of endangering themselves or others. The legislation establishes a civil procedure for removing guns from people who present high risk or danger to themselves or others. The bill also provides immediate help for people at extreme risk for harming themselves or others by petitioning on-call judges at any hour of the day or night.

As an elected official, a parent and a concerned citizen, I understand the importance of enacting the ERPO legislation which will save lives, and help individuals who need mental health treatment to recognize it, and get the help that they need, without putting themselves or others in danger.

We cannot afford to waste more time waiting for Congress to act on federal gun violence legislation. The time is now to make our schools safe for everyone and prevents future mass tragedies.

 

Sincerely,

Tom Stanley