Legal Information: Massachusetts

Restraining Orders

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October 24, 2018

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (to remove firearms)

An extreme risk protection order is a civil order issued by a judge that restricts a person's right to have firearms. A new law that went into effect on August 17, 2018 allows a judge to issue an emergency order (when the courts are closed), an ex parte order, or a final order after a hearing against a respondent who poses a risk of causing harm to himself/herself or another person by having any of the following in his/her possession:

  • a license to carry firearms;
  • a firearm identification card; or
  • a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, weapon or ammunition.1

If the order is granted, as soon as the respondent is served with the order, s/he would immediately have to surrender all of the above items to the local licensing authority that is serving the order.2

The petition can be filed by any of the following:

  • a family member of the respondent;
  • a household member of the respondent; or
  • the "licensing authority of the municipality" where the respondent lives.3

We will be adding more information about extreme risk protection orders in the future. For now, you can read the law on our Selected Massachusetts Statutes page to learn more.

1 M.G.L.A. 140 §§ 131S(c); 131T(a),(b)
2 M.G.L.A. 140 §§ 131S(f); 131T(c)
3 M.G.L.A. 140 §§ 121; 131R(a)