In the United States, there is an ongoing debate over the 2nd 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.
Under the leadership of leading firearms scholars and experts, FRC will conduct groundbreaking research for peer review and public use. 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 placement opportunities for students to ensure employment after graduation. The University of Wyoming College of Law will 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.