Extreme Risk Protection Orders

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) empower family, household members and law enforcement to petition the courts to prohibit a person experiencing a mental health crisis from purchasing or possessing firearms. Each ERPO petition is reviewed by a court to determine whether the subject of the petition has expressed violent behavior or threats to harm themselves or others.



Extreme Risk Protection Orders are available statewide and are not limited to Seattle.

What can an Extreme Risk Protection Order do?

An Extreme Risk Protection Order directs a person to surrender their firearms. It would be illegal to purchase or have control of firearms. It restrains the person from obtaining a concealed pistol license and orders them to surrender a license if they already have one.

Who is it filed against?

A person who poses a significant danger of causing personal injury to self or others in the near future by having firearms. Factors that demonstrate such a risk can include violent behavior, threats of self-harm, dangerous mental health crisis, and abuse of drugs or alcohol. The person who is alleged to be dangerous is called the respondent.  

Who can request the order?

A family or household member or a law enforcement officer or agency may ask the court to issue an order by filing a petition. The person requesting the order is referred to as the "petitioner." The law defines a family or household member as:

  • person related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the respondent;
  • dating partner of the respondent;
  • person who has a child in common with the respondent, regardless of whether such person has been married to the respondent or has lived together with the respondent at any time;
  • person who resides or has resided with the respondent within the past year;
  • domestic partner of the respondent;
  • person who has a biological or legal parent-child relationship with the respondent, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren, or;
  • a person who is acting or has acted as the respondent's legal guardian.

If you do not have the necessary relationship, or are not comfortable asking the court for an order, you can tell police about the situation and they can assist in the process.

How can I request an ERPO?

Email ERPO@kingcounty.gov where advocates and staff are available during business hours Monday-Friday to provide assistance, including referring callers to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

For additional information on how to apply for an ERPO, download the brochure from Washington Courts on Extreme Risk Protection Orders

If you are reporting an emergency, please dial 911.

I still have questions.

For answers to frequently asked questions about ERPOs, please visit Protectionorder.org ERPO FAQ.

This site has information for petitioners, respondents, and the general public on how to utilize Extreme Risk Protection Orders in Washington State.