Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
Gun violence is a crisis in the United States. In 2021, more than 48,000 people died by gun violence, the highest number ever recorded. Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws, which are modeled off domestic violence protection orders, create a civil process allowing law enforcement, family members (in most states), and medical professionals or other groups (in a few states), to petition a court to temporarily prohibit someone at risk of harming themselves or others from purchasing and possessing firearms for the duration of the order. Early evaluations of ERPO laws show that they are a promising approach to addressing firearm suicide and have been successfully used in response to mass shooting threats. Nineteen state and the District of Columbia have enacted ERPO laws. There is great variation among these laws and in implementation efforts, with many states and localities under-utilizing the law. Emerging data points to the importance of comprehensive ERPO training to improve the implementation process and prioritize equity in implementation.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions proposes to create the ERPO Resource Center to close this implementation gap. The purpose of the ERPO Resource Center is to provide ERPO implementation training and technical assistance to Byrne State Crisis Intervention Program grantees and other implementers, including law enforcement, prosecutors, attorneys, judges, clinicians, victim services, community organizations, behavioral health and other social services providers in jurisdictions with extreme risk laws. Project activities include building and disseminating an Implement ERPO website, toolkits, implementation guides, asynchronous and synchronous trainings, a Community of Practice, peer-to-peer learning opportunities, and responsive technical assistance. The ERPO Resource Center will also develop evidence-informed policy recommendations to reduce barriers to ERPO implementation.
Expected outcomes of the ERPO Resource Center include: the development of skills and capacity of grantees and other key implementers to ensure that ERPOs are fully utilized to support effective, constitutional, equitable, and impactful responses to those in crisis, therefore reducing firearm homicides and suicides. Byrne State Crisis Intervention Programs grantees and other implementers are the intended beneficiaries of this project. The National Criminal Justice Association is our subrecipient. Subrecipient activities include supporting State Administering Agencies in their Byrne JAG strategic planning, selection and implementation of best and innovative policies and practices, embedding equity practices in grants administration and strategic planning, data analysis and reporting, and program evaluation.