Erik Roskes, M.D. has written a comprehensive article clarifying the new Maryland Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) statute, which allows a court to order law enforcement to temporarily seize firearms from an individual determined to present a risk. There has been much confusion about the ERPO process, in part related to the patchwork nature of the statutory schemes related to mental health risk management. He summarizes the various statutory mechanisms that allow clinicians to take actions to mitigate risk posed by patients, including specific considerations resulting from the new ERPO law. Dr. Roskes begins with the statutes related to emergency evaluations and civil commitment, and also discusses “duty to protect” provisions of Maryland law. The Public Safety article’s provisions related to gun restrictions are included as well.
The article is a useful framework for addressing questions about risk in psychiatric practice; however, please note that it cannot substitute for legal advice. Specific questions about how to proceed legally should be addressed by an attorney.