Senate Judiciary Committee Moves Suicide Prevention Legislation Forward, Passes Extreme Risk Protec
Contact Name: Sara Persechino
Phone: (603) 271-3479
CONCORD - Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of HB 687 to establish a procedure for issuing extreme risk protection orders to protect against persons who pose an immediate risk of harm to themselves or others.
After the vote, the bill’s co-sponsor, Senate Judiciary Chair Martha Hennessey (D-Hanover) issued the following statement:
“New Hampshire’s suicide rate has been rising at an alarming rate. In a report published by the CDC, suicide rates went up 48.3% between 1999-2016. In people under the age of 24, it is the second leading cause of death--it is clear that we must take action to address this crisis.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) laws, like those passed in 17 other states and Washington D.C., can help prevent further loss of life by suicide. This bill creates a pathway for concerned family members and law enforcement to request assistance from our courts in protecting someone who may be a danger to themselves and others. The due process incorporated in the bill’s language makes it clear that this is not a criminal proceeding aimed at taking away firearms from lawful owners. This is an important measure to combat a public health emergency and protect those who may cause irreversible harm to themselves or others.”