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Johns Hopkins to host Bloomberg, experts for gun policy summit

Monday - 1/14/2013, 6:54am  ET

AP: 6d261b08-5813-45d6-9548-a0a6f65767aa
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will deliver the summit's opening remarks. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Andrew Mollenbeck, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - One month removed from a horrific shooting at a elementary school, gun policy experts meet this week to discuss ways to curb violence and effect change at the federal level.

Johns Hopkins University hosts a two-day summit, beginning Monday, that came about as a response to the shootings in Newtown, Conn.

"Now is the time," says Daniel Webster, director of the university's Center for Gun Policy and Research.

"We need to pull together the scholarship to inform the debate that's going to happen right now," he says.

The topics are to include background checks, assault weapons and violent offenders' access to firearms.

"We'll have a particular focus on federal policy because this is sort of a unique time," Webster says.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is scheduled to introduce Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, at the summit.

Bloomberg delivers the opening remarks on Monday. Johns Hopkins expects at least 20 other presenters who come from backgrounds in gun policy research and constitutional law, among others.

"The time seemed to be right to re-engage with the public and the policymakers on one of the most important public safety issues that we have," Webster says.

A live webcast of the summit can be viewed here.

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)