The Massachusetts Senate passed An Act Relative to Firearms on Thursday, June 7. The legislation allows a judge to order the immediate suspension and surrender of any license to carry firearms from an at-risk person when petitioned by that person’s family or household member. Such an order is called an extreme risk protection order (ERPO). The bill is also known as the ‘red flag’ or ‘ERPO’ bill.

The legislation supplements Massachusetts’ existing public safety regulations which have led to the lowest rates of gun deaths in the nation. The bill was passed by the House of Representatives in May. The legislation additionally amends the statute regulating stun guns.

“I have always been a strong supporter of the Second Amendment and gun owners in the Commonwealth. Regardless of politics, we all share concerns about individuals in a mental health crisis or those suffering from a mental illness using their firearms to cause harm to themselves or others,” said Senator Michael Moore, “This bi-partisan legislation was carefully drafted to address these issues while ensuring due process and protections to law abiding gun owners.”

“This legislation provides a framework for removing dangerous weapons from people who may harm themselves or others. It will reduce the risk of suicide and murder, and will encourage distressed people to seek the mental health treatment that they may need. But perhaps most importantly, this bill gives family members the tools and confidence to help their loved ones in extremely tense and emotional situations. I am very happy that the Senate has approved this legislation to make Massachusetts an even safer place to live,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler.