The Severity of Domestic Violence
In a domestic violence situation, it is often difficult to leave because of the risk of physical harm. If you do manage to make it out, then you need to be able to trust that the law will protect you from your ex.
One option, according to the New Jersey Legislature, is an extreme risk protective order, which is also known as an ERPO. An ERPO provides legal recourse against an ex-partner if you have reason to believe you are under immediate danger of bodily injury. Specifically, the ERPO focuses on firearms access and violence risks related to firearms.
Getting the order
You will not have to pay a fee to get an ERPO, but you will have to provide proof of the validity of your claims. You need to show a history of violence in the relationship or a history of violence involving your ex. You must also provide any evidence showing past violations of restraining orders or prior criminal history. It also helps to show recent acquisition or ownership of a firearm.
The ERPO will remove any firearms and ammunition from the custody of your ex-partner. The court may issue a search warrant so officers can take the firearms the person owns immediately upon serving the ERPO. The court may also follow up and issue search warrants as needed to obtain all firearms in the individual’s possession.
Preventing firearm violence
The goal of the ERPO Act is to stop firearm violence and protect those most vulnerable to such violence. Having these legal protections in place enables the court to provide law enforcement with the power to stop individuals they feel are a risk to society.
At the same time, this law gives you the ability to protect yourself. With both you and law enforcement able to file for an ERPO, you have additional security against gun violence in your own home.