Senate Bill 2521, a bill to authorize the issuance of extreme risk protection orders, has gained another Republican co-sponsor, Senator Collins (R-ME), as of March 23, 2018. The bill, originally introduced on March 8, 2018 by Senators Blumenthal (D-CT) and Graham (R-SC), is similar in scope and effect to the Florida ‘red flag’ bill which we have previously discussed in our newsletter. Here is the “Renzulli Run Down” of key points you need to know about the bill:               

  • A family member or law enforcement official may file a sworn petition asking for an emergency short-term order forbidding an individual from purchasing new firearms and removing all legally possessed firearms from the individual’s control.
    • However, if a law enforcement official files the petition, the source of the evidence may be filed under seal, preventing the individual from facing their accuser.
  • Within 14 days of this order, a hearing must be held in order to extend the order for up to 180 days.
  • The right to counsel at this hearing for a long term protective order is guaranteed, including the appointment of a public defender if the targeted individual cannot afford their own attorney.
  • The prosecution must present clear and convincing evidence that the individual is a danger to themselves or others for the order to be extended to 180 days.
  • These orders are renewable indefinitely.
  • The petitioner will receive notice before the order banning possession or sale to the individual is lifted.