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Controversial Red Flag Proposal Passes House

Jennifer O'Mara (D-Delaware)

A bill to provide ERPOs or Extreme Risk Protection Orders passed the House on Monday by a 102-99 vote and now heads to the Senate for full consideration.

The ERPO legislation, also known as “red flag” legislation, was sponsored by Rep. Jennifer O’Mara (D-Delaware). The bill provides a mechanism for loved ones, family members, or law enforcement to ask a Judge to hold a hearing to temporarily disarm someone in crisis and to disrupt spontaneous acts of violence against themselves or others. O’Mara’s bill would outline the due process, requiring a hearing with evidence before a judge. The judge would then determine whether or not to issue the ERPO, which could last for up to one year. The person subject to the order would be able to demand a hearing to terminate the ERPO at any time, per House Bill 1018.

“I introduced this bill because I lost my dad to gun suicide, and I want to do what I can to ensure no other family has to go through the tragedy that mine went through,” O’Mara said. “As a 13-year-old kid, losing my dad to suicide fundamentally changed my life. I hid that story from others for a long time out of shame, because of the persistence of the mental health stigma. Addressing gun violence and mental health problems head on like this bill does can help ensure that another kid doesn’t have to grow up the way that I did.”

The House also passed legislation requiring background checks on all firearm purchases by a 109-92 vote.

It is unlikely that either bill would be adopted by the GOP-controlled State Senate.

Pennsylvania would be the 20th state in the Union to adopt so-called red flag laws.

8 Responses

  1. Personally I think this bill would not help. If someone wants to harm themselves they would find a way, with or without a gun. We already have a process for individuals who might be harming themselves. Someone mentioned it above, ‘302.’ This process is when courts mandate that you need to be mentally evaluated, and can not leave the hospital until the doctors feels you are ready and the court agrees with their assessment. This is just taking away someone’s second amendment, even if it’s only temporary. Also if this is passed what would be the standard of proof for someone to show that a person might be harmful? I’d hope it would not just be a ‘he said she said’ situation.

    1. Absurd. The Second Amendment is a hippie catch phrase in your use. If someone is unwell, why not use another tool to help. Your Second Amendment argument is a fall back ridiculous assertion. And if someone falsely claims something against another there are civil and criminal ramifications.

  2. “My family is crazy.” Right. So they get scared when you threaten them with your AR-15?

    None of the three bills were “controversial” is a civilized society.

    1. I can understand this is difficult or uncomfortable to imagine, but families do not always get along. People lie and make false claims about family members all the time.

      Ask a judge in family courts.

      Look at domestic issues. They aren’t always comprised of truthful plaintiffs.

      People can make stuff up and, in the meantime, the police will seize the weapons and people will have their constitutional rights taken away.

      1. Gosh, apparently you are not aware of the criminal and civil ramifications of false charges. Duh. They can and will happen if people do these wrongs.

  3. This is NOT ‘ due-process ‘ no matter how they lie about it.
    Take first , then maybe you get a court date months later due to backlog ? NO WAY !

    This is an illegal taking, period.

    PA. already has civil commitment procedures on the books , called a ‘ 302 ‘ if needed. Maryland already killed a man taking his legally owned gun. He had done nothing wrong.

  4. No need to worry freaked out person because all bills that aren’t far right will die in the Republican controlled Senate.

  5. Rep Quinn sponsored and we passed “red flag” legislation a few years ago. Are we changing the definition to fit the narrative again?

    Just to be clear, this legislation would allow for family members and friends… because the courts track your relationships… to take away people’s constitutional rights?

    My brother hates me and he can phone in some BS?
    My family is crazy and can phone in some BS?
    People I’m in a fight with can phone in some BS and the courts come hassle me?

    What could go wrong.


  • Understanding that basic education funding should/will be first, what should be the next highest priority for the General Assembly?

    • Raising The Minimum Wage (25%)
    • Legalizing Adult-Use Marijuana (24%)
    • None of the above. Something Else. (20%)
    • Economic Development (14%)
    • Higher Education (8%)
    • Public Transportation (8%)
    • Workforce Opportunities and Innovation (2%)

    Total Voters: 51

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