UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (WJZ) — More than 100 weapons were confiscated in Prince George’s County after Maryland passed its red flag law last year.
The Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office reported last week that since Oct. 1, 2018 it has served 56 Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) and collected 132 firearms and 35,000 rounds of ammunition.
An ERPO may be applied against any individual who presents an “immediate and present” danger. The order requires the individual to then surrender all firearms in his or her possession and allows local law enforcement to seize the weapons from someone experiencing a mental crisis, be mentally ill or in distress. It also allows authorities to take the weapons to keep the person from hurting themselves or others.
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“The results since this law went into effect demonstrate the need and the value of this tool for law enforcement and for community safety,” said Sheriff Melvin C. High. “We were proud to support this legislation and to support lawmakers in getting it passed.”
In May, sheriff’s deputies placed a person into custody and took them to a medical facility for evaluation after an Emergency Petition Service and ERPO were simultaneously issued for that individual. Deputies confiscated 40 firearms, 342 firearm magazines and over 23,000 rounds of ammunition from that person’s home.
Another 38 firearms and 1,600 rounds of ammunition were surrendered to the sheriff’s office on May 13.
The weapons were taken to a storage facility to be processed.
The ERPO may be requested by a family member or another individual concerned about a person’s safety or in the case of domestic violence. The petitioner could be concerned for their own safety or of the person with the guns.