The Firearms Research Center (FRC), housed at the University of Wyoming College of Law, has announced that firearms historian Ashley Hlebinsky will serve as the center’s first executive director.

Hlebinsky has been with the FRC since it launched in January.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Ashley serve as the center’s executive director,” says George Mocsary, a UW legal scholar who led the center’s launch with Hlebinsky. “Using her experience and expertise to advance our mission, we will bolster our research, add staff and scholars, and ultimately enhance the conversation around firearms and the Second Amendment.”

Hlebinsky is a firearms historian specializing in material culture, as well as a firearms and ammunition-related museum consultant, expert witness, freelance writer, guest lecturer, television personality and producer. Previously, she was the Robert W. Woodruff Curator of the Cody Firearms Museum, overseeing the museum’s full-scale, multimillion-dollar renovation at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

“I am honored to serve as the Firearms Research Center’s first executive director and look forward to helping the FRC reach its full potential,” Hlebinsky says. “We’ve come a long way from when George and I sketched out our early ideas for a research center dedicated to firearms on a scrap of paper years ago. As executive director, I’ll work around the clock to turn those ideas and goals into reality.”

In addition to her professional background, Hlebinsky sits on the board of an organization that works to teach firearm cultural competence to mental health professionals and others who seek to prevent suicides by firearm. She has been instrumental with Mocsary in creating a partnership with the Wyoming Department of Health and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs involving suicide prevention initiatives within the state and nationally.

About the Firearms Research Center

The FRC was founded in 2023 to establish more voices in the firearms discussion; create a pipeline of graduates prepared to serve as firearms lawyers; and act as a reliable, nonpartisan resource for firearms-related information.

By bringing together scholars from a wide range of academic disciplines and experts without traditional academic backgrounds, the FRC’s aim is to foster a broad discourse and produce meaningful change in how firearms are discussed and understood. The center 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.