The establishment of the National Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Resource Center was announced by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Saturday. This new entity, operating under the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP), aims to provide training for state and local officials on the implementation of “red flag” laws. The center will offer education and support to officials as they navigate the legal process to obtain orders that temporarily restrict an individual’s access to firearms if they are deemed to pose a threat of harm to themselves or others, as stated in the DOJ’s press release.

The individuals to be trained are “law enforcement officials, prosecutors, attorneys, judges, clinicians, victim service and social service providers, community organizations, and behavioral health professionals.”

“The launch of the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center will provide our partners across the country with valuable resources to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in the press release. “The establishment of the Center is the latest example of the Justice Department’s work to use every tool provided by the landmark Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to protect communities from gun violence.”

Gun control advocacy groups have previously shown support for red flag orders, also known as ERPOs. ERPOs are granted by state courts in civil cases to prohibit individuals from buying or having firearms if they are considered to pose a risk of using them to harm themselves or others, as stated in the press release. Twenty-one states, in addition to Washington, D.C., have enacted these regulations.

“OJP’s investment in ERPO programs demonstrates the Department’s commitment to addressing the gun violence crisis in the United States,” Assistant Attorney General Amy Solomon wrote in the press release. “This crisis cannot be solved at one level of government. We must use all of our resources and collaborate at the federal, state, and local levels to find innovative, evidence-based, and holistic solutions to help keep American communities safe.”

Conservative organizations have expressed opposition to measures like ERPOs, contending that they are misused to violate individuals’ rights protected by the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

“So-called ‘Red Flag’ orders, or Emergency Risk Protection Orders, are designed to empower the government to confiscate Americans’ firearms without due process of law,” the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action wrote in 2022. “Aside from allowing run-of-the-mill malicious actors to indulge personal grudges against law-abiding gun owners, in the current politically-charged environment, these laws enable the government to target those with First Amendment-protected political views the government disfavors.”