BOSTON – Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) joined his colleagues on June 7th in the Massachusetts Senate to vote to engross H.4539, An Act Relative to Firearms, to prevent individuals from possessing guns through a measure called an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), also known as the “red flag” bill. The ERPO legislation would allow family members or law enforcement to petition the courts to prevent individuals who are a danger to themselves or others from having access to firearms, ammunition, firearm ID cards, or licenses to carry a firearm. The ERPO would last for up to one year with the option to continue to renew it if the individual does not meet the burden of proof of no longer being a danger to themselves or others.
“I was proud to vote for this important bill, which will help reduce gun violence in Massachusetts, and keep people safe,” said Senator Eldridge. “I want to thank all the advocates in my district and throughout Massachusetts who have been advocating in support of this legislation. Over the past few months, I have attended National Student Walkout demonstrations in schools across the district, helped organize a gun control summit at Acton Town Hall, and spoke at the Chelmsford March for Our Lives rally. The passage of this bill is a testament to the people’s grassroots activism, especially young people, which made gun reform an urgent priority for the legislature this session. I also want to thank the bill’s lead sponsors, Senator Cindy Creem and Representative Marjorie Decker for their leadership in filing this legislation.”
Eldridge, a long-time supporter of stronger gun control, has called for the swift passage of the ERPO bill since the Parkland, Florida school shooting. On March 14th, the day of the National Student Walkout, Eldridge publicly called out the Gun Owners Action League (GOAL) for an email GOAL had sent to its supporters in which they asked their members to video-record teachers and students participating in gun safety walkouts.
The ERPO bill was passed by the House of Representatives in May, and a conference committee has been appointed to negotiate the differences in the versions passed by the two chambers.