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Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions Receives $2 Million Justice Department Grant to Launch New Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center

The new center will provide technical assistance and training on implementing ERPOs


The Center for Gun Violence Solutions at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has received a four-year, $2 million grant from the Department of Justice for training and technical assistance on implementing Extreme Risk Protection Order laws.  

The Johns Hopkins ERPO Resource Center will be co-led by Lisa Geller, MPH, state affairs advisor and Spencer Cantrell, JD, federal affairs advisor, at the Center for Gun Violence Solutions in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management.  

Extreme Risk Protection Order laws create a civil process allowing law enforcement and, depending on the state, family members, medical professionals, and other groups to petition a court to temporarily prohibit someone at risk of harming themselves or others from purchasing and possessing firearms. Enacted in 20 states and the District of Columbia, research shows that ERPO laws are a promising solution to addressing firearm suicide and have been successfully used in response to mass shooting threats. 

The grant is funded by the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which President Biden signed into law in June 2022. The law also expands mental health services and gun violence prevention initiatives.  

"This is breakthrough funding from the federal government to support meaningful gun violence prevention grounded in science,” says Geller. “In the decade that we’ve been working to educate policymakers, implementers, and the public about ERPOs, we have seen disparate implementation among jurisdictions that have these laws. Dedicated funding for implementation of extreme risk laws will allow for more equitable, efficient, and effective use of the law to save lives.” 

The project will support ERPO implementation across the country, including providing resources to law enforcement and other entities that are implementing ERPO laws. Geller and Cantrell will lead the development of a training and technical assistance website, toolkits, implementation guides, trainings, convenings, and other resources designed to support states with extreme risk laws and those considering such laws.   

“Training and technical assistance for those on the front lines of doing this work are essential to ensuring ERPO laws are being implemented in ways that maximize public safety, attend to due process protections, and lead with equity,” says Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, the grant’s co-principal investigator, core faculty member in the Center for Gun Violence Solutions, and professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management.  

“We want everybody who has an opportunity to prevent a gun death—from law enforcement to social workers--to know how to use this new tool," says Josh Horwitz, JD, co-director of the Center for Gun Violence Solutions and the Dana Feitler Professor of the Practice, and the grant's principal investigator. "This grant is an effort to make ERPO available to every community.”