Buffalo Law Review

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Restrictions on federal funding for research pertaining to firearm policy have stymied academic inquiry by social science and public health researchers for over two decades. As a result, most researchers agree that our public discourse about this urgent issue is woefully under-informed, or even ill-informed, on both sides of the debate. Legal academia, which does not operate under the same grant-writing regime as most other disciplines, can and should help fill this gap in researching and theorizing the unresolved questions related to firearm policy. In fact, theoretical development and clarification from the legal academy is often a necessary antecedent for empirical researchers in other fields to frame and develop their own studies properly, especially about the real-world effects of competing policy approaches to firearms. This Essay sets forth a plea to law professors to undertake much-needed research in this area and offers suggestions of understudied topics with low entry barriers for legal commentators. Recommendations for interdisciplinary collaborative efforts round out this discussion. A brief conclusion reaches the endgame issue: ensuring access to the work we produce.