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The presence of a firearm can turn a temporary crisis into a permanent tragedy.

Suicide is a leading cause of death in people ages 10-34. In Delaware, we have a unique legal tool designed to prevent suicide by firearm – the most lethal means of suicide.

A Lethal Violence Protection Order (LVPO) is a civil order issued by a court when someone is at risk of violence to self (including suicide) or others. A person with an LVPO order cannot purchase or possess guns while the order is in place. LVPOs provide structure and due process for the temporary removal of firearms during times of crisis. The LVPO law has broad, bipartisan consensus and passed unanimously in Delaware.

“These laws pass because they are successful at saving lives where they already are passed.”

Paul Baumbach, Delaware State Representative

How It Works:

  • A person in crisis or a loved one of a person in crisis calls the police or petitions the court directly and requests an LVPO.
  • If appropriate, the firearms are temporarily removed from the premises and stored for safekeeping by law enforcement.
  • Within 15 days of the removal, a hearing is held. Hearings are not open to the public and, if the crisis has passed, the firearm can be returned.

LVPOs do NOT remove or harm the person in crisis

LVPOs do NOT put anyone in jail

LVPOs do NOT put anyone in handcuffs

LVPOs do NOT create a criminal record

LVPOs remove the firearm and ammunition ONLY

“I want everybody in the state of Delaware to know that they have this tool. This very effective tool, to cut down on gun violence. And if it saves a life, that’s what we want.”

Kathy Jennings, Delaware Attorney General

LVPOs give people in crisis the thing they need the most: time. Protect your family, neighbors, and community. Call 911.

Learn more about suicide, gun violence, and LVPOs in Delaware

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If you or a loved one is feeling overwhelmed, depressed, or feel as though they might hurt themselves, you can call 800-652-2929 or 800-345-6785

Receive mental health tips & reminders by texting HOPEDE to 55753.

For more information, visit

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