COLUMBUS – State Reps. Michele Grim (D-Toledo) and Cecil Thomas (D-Cincinnati) today provided sponsor testimony on House Bill (HB) 170, which would establish a legal process for temporarily removing firearms from the possession of people who are displaying signs of being a danger to themselves or others, known commonly as Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) or “red flag” laws.
“House Bill 170 is a commonsense gun safety measure that will save lives – particularly those who are imminently distressed and suicidal – while respecting the rights of due process and the Second Amendment,” said Rep. Grim. “The legal framework created under House Bill 170 allows those with a vested interest in one’s safety and security, family members and law enforcement, to petition the court to temporarily remove firearms from those who present an imminent danger to themselves or others. Research has shown that there are clear and identifiable behaviors that can predict an escalation from threats to fatalities. HB 170 is one way we can try to prevent gun violence before it occurs.”
“Last week we observed National Gun Violence Awareness Day. The purpose was to honor the lives of gun violence victims and survivors. While awareness days serve to highlight crucial issues facing Ohioans, it is important we representatives follow them up with concrete legislation that addresses the problems advocates have called attention to. Ohioans have asked us repeatedly to do something. HB 170 is our opportunity to listen,” said Rep. Thomas.
As of today, 21 states and the District of Columbia have enacted Extreme Risk Protection Orders, including Florida, Indiana, Michigan, and New York. Studies analyzing these measures have found a significant decrease in gun suicide deaths, ranging between 7 and 13.7 percent post-implementation.
House Bill 170 awaits additional hearings in the House Government Oversight Committee.