See The Signs: New Jersey Red Flag Laws


See the signs, speak up, save lives


Red Flag Laws are Saving Lives. They Could be saving more. 

In New Jersey, Red Flag Laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protective Orders (ERPO’s), serve as a vital tool in preventing firearm-related tragedies. Implemented in September 2019, these laws allow the courts to seize firearms from individuals who exhibit signs of being a danger to themselves or others. This proactive approach enables family members, household members, or law enforcement officers to reduce the likelihood of shootings, suicides and all gun-related violence. 

New Jersey’s ERPO’s play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of its residents. Spearheaded by the dedicated efforts of Prosecutor Grace C. MacAulay and her team at the Prosecutor’s Office, Camden County is spreading awareness of these life-saving laws and empowering our community to utilize them when needed. 


Spread the Word on Red Flag Laws

By understanding these laws, individuals can recognize warning signs and take proactive steps to intervene before tragedy strikes. Educating the public about Red Flag Laws promotes community safety and fosters a culture of accountability, where concerns regarding firearm access are addressed swiftly and effectively. Ultimately, widespread awareness of Red Flag Laws ensures that communities are equipped with the knowledge and resources necessary to prevent firearm-related violence and protect the well-being of all residents. 

“Red Flag laws are critical tools to help save lives and prevent gun violence before it happens, but in order to be effective they must be used,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action.  “New Jersey has led the nation on gun safety and it’s so important that they continue to do so by raising awareness and strongly implementing their Red Flag law.”


Take Action

  • How to File a Petition: 
    • A ERPO begins with the petitioner outlining the perceived threat posed by the respondent and detailing the firearms owned by the respondent.
    • Petitions are filed in the county where the respondent resides, either with the criminal division of the Superior Court during regular hours or with any law enforcement agency at any time.
    • Law enforcement agents can provide assistance in completing the petition and may join or file their own petitions.
  • Who Can File a Petition
    • Family members, including spouses, domestic partners, household members, co-parents, and current or former dating partners can file directly with the court. 
    • Law enforcement agents can also file petitions directly. 
    • Those not listed above must request law enforcement to file the petition on their behalf, subject to specific guidelines. 
  • Preparing for Court
    • Court staff will interview the petitioner, and responses are filed in the protective restraining order system.
    • The first hearing is scheduled promptly, either with a Superior Court judge during regular hours or a municipal court judge during off-hours.
    • At the final hearing, both petitioner and respondent present their cases, although representation by attorneys is not required. 
  • Hearings
    • Respondents have the right to defend themselves, receive a copy of the petition, and prepare their defense. 
    • During the final hearing, respondents can testify, present witnesses, cross-examine petitioner witnesses, and submit relevant documents. 
  • Final Firearm Removal Order
    • The court issues a final order if the evidence confirms the extreme risk, requiring the respondent to surrender all firearms and ammunition to law enforcement. 
  • Requesting Termination of a Final Order
    • The final order remains in effect indefinitely, but either party can request termination by demonstrating the respondent is no longer a risk, with additional documentation as required.