Rutgers is establishing a Center on Gun Violence Research to focus on all aspects of the problem.

Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, said there are an average of 475 firearms deaths each year in New Jersey, and countless more injuries.

"Firearm violence in the U.S. — there are nearly 100,000 firearm incidents a year in the United States, about a third of which result in death. Within New Jersey, we actually do better than most other states, because we have more comprehensive and stricter firearm laws," he said.

Tackling the problem "really requires a massive, multi-disciplinary approach," he said.

The Center on Gun Violence Research is being led by Bernadette Hohl, assistant Professor of Epidemiology at the Rutgers School of Public Health, and Michael Ostermann, associate Professor in the Rutgers School of Criminal Justice.

"It also actually draws on expertise from all across the rest of the University as well — psychology, sociology, medicine, law, nursing, social work, public policy, engineering and others," Strom said.

Strom says Gov. Phil Murphy and the Legislature challenged Rutgers to use its cross-disciplinary expertise to uncover the roots of gun violence: "How do you help people recover from it? How do we prevent it? What are innovative technologies, going forward?"

Their research will examine gun homicides, assaults, suicides and accidental shootings.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.

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