As firearms continue to play a prominent role in American lives – in positive and negative ways – the University of Wyoming is taking a step to lead a new era of political discourse. On Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Firearms Research Center (F.R.C.), housed in the University of Wyoming College of Law, officially launched after earning faculty approval and private financial support.
The center is established with three central goals:
- Bring more voices to the firearms discussion
- Create a pipeline for law school graduates prepared to serve as firearms attorneys
- Act as a reliable, nonpartisan resource for firearms-related information and research.
“In the United States, there is an ongoing debate over the Second Amendment, violence, and the relationship our country has with firearms,” says George Mocsary, the F.R.C.’s director and co-founder who is a professor in U.W.’s College of Law. “Discussions are frequently siloed, lacking cross-disciplinary work and contributions from diversified voices. By bringing together scholars from various academic disciplines and experts from other backgrounds, the Firearms Research Center will foster a broad discourse to produce meaningful change in how firearms are discussed and understood.”
Under the leadership of preeminent firearms scholars and experts, the F.R.C. will foster groundbreaking research for peer review and public use.
The center’s website will be an online hub for firearms-related data, research, and law, for practical application today.
“The Firearms Research Center will serve as a resource for academics, practitioners, lawmakers, members of the media, and the public on the uses and roles firearms play in society — both past and present,” says Ashley Hlebinsky, senior fellow and co-founder of the F.R.C. “After years of hard work and diligence, we are thrilled to officially launch the F.R.C. and know its impact will be widespread and meaningful.”
Cody residents will recognize Ashley Hlebinsky – she was previously the curator of the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
About U.W.’s Firearms Research Center
U.W.’s F.R.C. will offer continuing legal education, cross-functional scholarly workshops, courses, and symposia to further firearms education and thoughtful conversations about firearms use across the country.
For students, the F.R.C. 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 F.R.C. plans to offer an array of public events and educational resources emphasizing firearms education.
Some of the intended public resources offered through the F.R.C. include facilitating access to gun safety materials, encouraging dialogue, and creating a broader understanding of the role of firearms in American society.