Johns Hopkins to host two-day gun policy summit

Experts from around the world to gather in Baltimore next week to present research, adopt specific policy recommendations

Hub staff report / January 7, 2013 4:30:00 pm Posted in University News, Politics+Society Tagged gun policy, school shootings

Within weeks of the Summit, the Johns Hopkins University Press will publish the book, _Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis_. Collected for the first time in one volume, this reliable, empirical research and legal analysis will inform the policy debate by helping lawmakers and opinion leaders identify the policy changes that are most likely to reduce gun violence in the U.S. The book will be available in late January and can be purchased from Amazon.com.

On the one-month anniversary of the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., top gun policy experts from around the world will convene at The Johns Hopkins University to recommend federal actions to curb gun violence in the U.S.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a 1964 graduate of Johns Hopkins and co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, will deliver the opening remarks at the event, to be held Jan. 14-15 at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and titled "Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis."

More than 20 experts are expected to present, including researchers from Johns Hopkins, Harvard, Yale, Duke, Michigan State, Rutgers, George Mason, and Howard universities and the universities of Chicago, Connecticut, and California-Davis. Experts from Great Britain, Australia, and Brazil will deliver evaluations of gun policy reforms in their nations.

Presentation topics include weaknesses in the current background check system in the U.S., the lethality of military assault weapons, and reducing firearm access for violent offenders.

Following presentations, experts will discuss and adopt specific recommendations for evidence-based policies that would reduce gun violence, can garner broad public support, and would not violate constitutional rights. More information is available on the event website.

Last month's fatal shootings of 20 students and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown opened the door to new federal action to reduce gun violence. Days later, President Barack Obama tasked Vice President Joe Biden with overseeing the administration's efforts to tighten gun laws, addressing not only mass shootings but also the less well-publicized gun-related homicides that occur in the United States every day.

The two-day event is being organized by Johns Hopkins University's Center for Gun Policy and Research, which is dedicated to reducing gun-related injuries and deaths through the application of strong research methods and public health principles. Its faculty have pioneered innovative strategies for reducing gun violence, and achieved a national reputation for high-quality, policy-relevant research.

Summit attendance is restricted to registered guests, but those interested in following next week's events can watch a live webcast at www.jhu.edu/gunpolicysummit and/or join the conversation on Twitter at #jhugunpolicy.

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