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NJ leaders, researchers and community leaders team up to discuss solutions to gun violence in New Jersey

The GVRC Summit will feature data-driven discussions on the causes and consequences of firearm-related issues.

NEW JERSEY – The Rutgers New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center (GVRC) is bringing together researchers, policy makers, community members and elected officials to discuss data-driven solutions to firearm-related issues in New Jersey.
The annual event, which will be hosted on Feb. 13, includes data-driven discussions on the causes and consequences of firearm-related violence, as well as ongoing efforts in New Jersey that have helped make the GVRC a national leader in firearm violence prevention.
This year’s keynote speakers include Matthew Platkin, the state attorney general; Patricia Teffanhart, executive director of the state Division of Violence Intervention and Victim Assistance; Craig Bryan, a professor at Ohio State University and an expert on firearm suicide prevention; and Jesenia Pizarro-Terrill, a professor at Arizona State University and an expert on firearms and domestic violence.
“New Jersey is already a leader in gun violence prevention, but we still have far to go to reach our goals in reducing the burden of firearm injury and death,” said Mike Anestis, executive director of the GVRC. “One way we can make meaningful steps towards those goals is to ensure that scientists, policy makers, and other key stakeholders are in conversation with one another and leveraging the best available data to help determine steps New Jersey can take to keep people safe.”.
This year’s event will include interactive breakout sessions where attendees may provide their perspectives on a variety of gun violence-related topics such as methods for promoting secure firearm storage, paths toward developing a statewide firearm safety coalition that leverages the firearm owning community to promote safe firearm use, methods for demonstrating the impact of community violence intervention programs and avenues for connecting those impacted by gun violence with the services they need.
GVRC officials said they hope these conversations will serve as the catalyst for developing data-driven policies and programs focused on the prevention of all forms of gun violence throughout New Jersey.
“The science of gun violence prevention cannot be hidden in the unread pages of academic journals if we want science to drive programs and policies. This event can help bring data into a healthy, productive, nonpartisan conversation about available paths for preventing tragedies,” said Anestis, adding the GVRC can foster collaboration across political lines, which is crucial to preventing gun violence.
The center, which is among the first state-funded gun violence research organizations in the U.S., conducts and funds interdisciplinary research on the causes, consequences, and solutions to gun-related violence, while respecting the rights of legal, safe gun ownership and use. The GVRC works in collaboration with and is supported by the New Jersey Office of the Secretary of Higher Education.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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