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Johns Hopkins University

ERPO: A Civil Approach to Gun Violence Prevention Teach-Out

Johns Hopkins University via Coursera


Evidence shows that 1 life is saved for every 10-20 Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) issued. ERPOs are legally issued civil orders that allow people on the front lines to ask a court to prevent a person at imminent risk of harm to themselves or others from purchasing or possessing firearms during a critical period of risk. As of October 2020, ERPO laws have been enacted by nineteen states and the District of Columbia and while some aspects differ by state, the general process for applying and issuing ERPOs are quite similar.

In this Teach-Out, a team of public health, policy, and medical experts will each provide a unique perspective to:

1. Define what ERPO laws are and how they work;
2. Share scientific evidence supporting ERPO laws as a public health approach to preventing gun violence and suicide;
3. Describe specific considerations for those eligible to petition for (aka those who ask the court to issue) ERPOs on behalf of an individual—including law enforcement, health professionals, and personal family members;
4. Discuss the legal process for passing, implementing, and enforcing ERPO laws;
5. Recommend specific call to action activities for learners designed to encourage policy makers to implement ERPO laws in states without them and strengthen existing ERPO laws in states that already have them; and
6. Provide opportunities for learners to engage in civil discourse and collective action to increase awareness about ERPOs and empower learners to advocate for ERPO laws to reduce and prevent gun violence in our communities.


  • ERPO 101: Introduction to Extreme Risk Protection Order Laws
  • Clinicians as Petitioners for ERPO
  • Law Enforcement as Petitioners for ERPO
  • Family/Partners as Petitioners for ERPO
  • Advocating for ERPOs
  • Upcoming Events: Live Webinar Discussion & ERPO Recommendations Report Release

Taught by

Josh Horwitz, JD, Katherine Hoops, MD, MPH and Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH


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