From Adam Garber, CeaseFirePA Action <[email protected]>
Subject PA Trooper could be alive today if this gun safety bill were law
Date July 11, 2023 2:03 PM
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Gun Violence Prevention Advocate,

On June 16th, the family of a 38-year old Juniata County man contacted Pennsylvania State Police, worried about his “erratic behavior” with concerns that he needed to be involuntarily hospitalized for a mental health crisis.[1] The next day, he attacked the State Police barracks in Lewistown, ultimately killing 29-year-old Trooper Jacques Rougeau, Jr. and critically wounding Lt. James Wagner.[2]

The extreme risk warning signs were there, but the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law wasn't. With the right intervention, this tragedy could have been avoided. ERPO legislation passed the PA House with bipartisan support and we need the Senate to send it to Governor Shapiro's desk.


According to a statement from his sister, in the days prior to the attack, the shooter was experiencing psychosis and extreme delusions, believing that “the police were actively trying to kill him”.[3] There were plenty of opportunities to use an ERPO if that tool were available.

ERPOs would allow family members and law enforcement to ask the court to temporarily remove firearms from individuals in crisis after going through full due process. It could have made the difference here – if it were law.[4]

This policy is saving lives in 21 states and DC so far, both as a tool to prevent mass shootings and firearm suicide – the most common cause of gun death. In California, 21 mass shootings were stopped by ERPOs over 3 years. When ERPOs were implemented in Connecticut, the state saw a 13.7% reduction in suicide as a result of the law.
Trooper Jacques Rougeau, Jr should still be here today. We owe it to our communities to pass legislation to stop preventable tragedies like this.


Adam Garber
Executive Director
CeaseFirePA Action

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Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States
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