Advisory Report: Increased Awareness and Training Could Enhance the Effectiveness of Oregon’s Extreme Risk Protection Order Law


Report 2023-26

Red flag against blue background
Image by Freepik

Oregon’s extreme risk protection order (ERPO) law, commonly referred to as a “red flag” law, has been in effect since 2018. The law is intended to reduce incidents of gun violence and suicide through a civil court order that helps prevent individuals at risk from hurting themselves or others from having access to deadly weapons. ERPOs can be requested by family or household members or by law enforcement.

Firearm-related deaths are on the rise both nationally and in Oregon, with 2021 seeing the largest number on record nationally. Mass shooting incidents, while difficult to define, are also increasing in frequency. ERPOs are seen as a potentially effective tool for reducing firearm-related deaths and are being adopted by more states. Legislation passed at the federal level in 2022 has led to increased awareness of ERPOs and federal financial support is now available for states to establish ERPO laws or supplement existing laws.

Infographic showing ERPO statistics  

This report is intended to inform the public by answering five key questions about Oregon’s ERPO law:

  1. What is Oregon’s ERPO law and how does it work?
  2. What state and local entities are involved in the process and what is their role?
  3. How is Oregon’s ERPO law being used and is it working as intended?
  4. How does Oregon’s ERPO law compare to best practices and similar laws in other states?
  5. What resources are available to law enforcement and the public to learn more about Oregon’s ERPO law?

We chose not to follow our traditional audit process because there is not a single state agency responsible for administering Oregon’s ERPO law. However, this report has undergone the regular quality assurance process as audit reports from our office.

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