Protective Orders

Submitting a Request

Please fax all out-of-state Emergency Protective Orders to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office Emergency Communications Center at 703-771-5470 for official service.

Out-of-state refers to Emergency Protective Orders originating from a state other than Virginia, requiring service on a person in Loudoun County, Virginia.

Emergency Substantial Risk Orders (ESRO)

What is an Emergency Substantial Risk Order?

The Code of Virginia (§ 19.2-152.13) provides that under limited emergency situations, firearms may be temporarily relinquished to law enforcement, pursuant to an Emergency Substantial Risk Order (ESRO), also known as the "Red Flag" law. The Code of Virginia precludes citizens from obtaining an ESRO on their own and requires the request for an ESRO to be made by law enforcement or an attorney of the Commonwealth after an independent investigation is conducted. 

 Obtaining an Emergency Substantial Risk Order

To obtain an Emergency Substantial Risk Order (ESRO), an independent investigation must be conducted by law enforcement to identify probable cause for an ESRO. If the investigation determines a person poses a substantial risk of injury to him/herself or others in the near future by their possession or acquisition of a firearm, we will file a petition for an ESRO with a judge or magistrate. If the judge or magistrate agrees that probable cause exists as described above, they will issue an ESRO that prohibit the person who is subject to the order from purchasing, possessing, or transporting a firearm for the duration of the order.  

To request an ESRO, please call us at 703-777-1021 (non-emergency) or dial 9-1-1 if it is an emergency.


What happens after the issuance of an Emergency Substantial Risk Order (ESRO)? 

  • The person subject to the order shall be given the opportunity to voluntarily relinquish any firearm from their possession to law enforcement.
  • The person subject to the order shall not purchase, possess, or transport a firearm for the duration of the order.
  • The order will expire at 11:59 p.m. of the fourteenth day following issuance.
    • If the court is not open, the order will be extended until 11:59 p.m. of the next day the circuit court is in session. The person subject to the order may file a motion to dissolve the order at any time.
  • Law enforcement shall take custody of all relinquished firearms and provide written receipt to the person and the circuit court.  
  • Law enforcement may obtain a search warrant for any firearms if they have reason to believe that the person subject to the ESRO has not relinquished all firearms in their possession.