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The new University of Wyoming Firearms Research Center has big goals

Firearms Research Center

The University of Wyoming (UW) now has a firearms research center.

Prior to this, it actually wasn’t easy to study firearms at a university.

“It was really difficult to study them [firearms] in a system where they're just, there were no majors for it,” said Ashley Hlebinsky, the center’s executive director.

She said for most people who want to study firearms, they have to go down the independent study route. The center will create a space where academics can contribute to firearms scholarship.

Hlebinsky said she also wants to help diversify the conversation around guns today -- by providing support for scholars.

“We want to see more voices that maybe across the spectrum, will allow gun owners to have a voice in some forums where they may not, and allow scholars to have a voice where they may not within that community,” she said.

Another big component is community outreach -- whether that be on firearms safety, hunter therapy or suicide prevention. Hlebinsky said the center is partnering with Walk the Talk America, a firearms and national mental health organization, to create a focus towards clinicians to understand firearms better.

“So that as we kind of look towards a larger discussion, we have more mental health practitioners who are aware of the nuances and gun ownership so that they can better get their patients help,” said Hlebinsky.

Hlebinsky said they will begin this effort at a conference in November in Laramie.

Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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