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Substantial Risk Order Program

Virginia’s Substantial Risk Order Laws

The Virginia Substantial Risk Order was initially introduced during the 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly. The proposed legislation was updated several times since its initial introduction. These updates were influenced by lessons learned from other states, as well as input from a variety of stakeholders, including law enforcement, current and former commonwealth’s attorneys, the Office of the Executive Secretary, legislative legal staff, researchers, public health experts and treatment providers. The current Substantial Risk Order Law was introduced in the 2020 session of the Virginia General Assembly, where it was passed and signed into law. The law became effective on July 1, 2020. 

The Substantial Risk Order is a civil court order that allows commonwealth’s attorneys and law enforcement to petition the court to temporarily prevent the purchase, possession, or acquisition of firearms from an individual who is deemed a substantial risk of harming themselves or others in the near future. The order requires the respondent to voluntarily relinquish firearms in their possession to law enforcement. 

Virginia has two substantial risk order laws:

§ 19.2-152.13. Emergency substantial risk order.

§ 19.2-152.14. Substantial risk order.


Substantial Risk Orders - Virginia’s “Red Flag” Laws Webinar

Contact Information

Dennis S. Proffitt, Substantial Risk Order Training Coordinator