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In the United States, there is an ongoing debate over the Second Amendment, criminal violence, and the relationship our country has with firearms. Discussions of such topics are frequently siloed, with little cross-disciplinary work. For example, legal scholars work in separation from historians or social scientists. Journalists, without access to subject-matter expertise, are often left to interpret complicated information themselves. As a result, discourse on the vast array of firearms-related subjects suffers, both in tone and accuracy.
The Firearms Research Center (FRC), which is housed in the University of Wyoming College of Law, was launched to establish more voices in the firearms discussion, create a pipeline of graduates prepared to serve as firearms lawyers, and act as a reliable, non-partisan resource for firearms-related information. By bringing together scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines and experts without traditional academic backgrounds, the Center’s aim is to foster a broad discourse and produce meaningful change in how firearms are discussed and understood.
The Center’s website will be an online hub for firearms related data, research, and firearms related law. FRC will serve as a resource for academics, practitioners, lawmakers, members of the media, and the public on the uses and roles of firearms in society – both past and present.
For academia, the FRC will offer continuing legal education, cross-functional scholarly workshops, courses, symposia, and more to further firearm education and thoughtful conversations around firearms use across the country.
For students, FRC will offer a community where scholars and established experts can cultivate knowledge within a collaborative community of support. Through hands-on learning experiences, research opportunities, and post-graduation placement assistance for students. The University of Wyoming College of Law strives to become the premier law school for practitioners who serve the legal needs of all those who produce, employ, own, and regulate firearms.
In the community, the Center plans to offer an array of public events and educational resources. It will emphasize firearms education, including facilitating access to gun safety materials, as a means to encourage dialogue and create a broader understanding of the role of firearms in American society.
George A. Mocsary, Co-Founder and Director
Mocsary, co-founder and Director of the Firearms Research Center and professor at the University of Wyoming College of Law, is a coauthor of Firearms Law and the Second Amendment: Regulation, Rights, and Policy, the first law school casebook in the field. His scholarship has been cited by Justice Samuel A. Alito, the Illinois Supreme Court, and other federal courts. He is frequently quoted about firearms law in the popular press, including the New York Times and The Economist.
Ashley Hlebinsky, Co-Founder and Senior Fellow
Hlebinsky, co-founder and Senior Fellow of the Firearms Research Center, is one of the foremost authorities on firearms history and material culture in the United States. For a decade, she was Curator in charge of one of the largest firearms museums in the country and served as Project Director on the museum’s full-scale multimillion dollar renovation. Presently, Hlebinsky serves as a museum consultant, speaker, writer, expert witness, and television host and producer.
David B. Kopel, Senior Fellow
Kopel, Senior Fellow at the Firearms Research Center, is a professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He is a coauthor with Mocsary of Firearms Law and the Second Amendment. Kopel has written more than 100 law review articles and a dozen books on the Second Amendment. His work has been cited by five U.S. Supreme Court Justices and dozens of state supreme courts and federal appellate courts. Kopel has written over a thousand newspaper and magazine articles and been quoted in many more.