Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Photo via Baltimore Heritage/Flickr.

As a grim trend of gun violence continues across the country, two organizations at Johns Hopkins University dedicated to gun violence research and prevention will merge to form a new center at the university’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence will coalesce into the new Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

The center will conduct research to evaluate public health approaches to gun violence, track public opinion on gun violence policy, advance evidence-based policies, and develop new approaches to curb violence related to ghost guns.

On Tuesday, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill to ban ghost guns, untraceable firearms without serial numbers that can be purchased without a background check.

Advocates for gun safety hope that the ban on ghost guns, which have increasingly become the weapon of choice for criminals, will help reduce gun violence across the state.

At the Center for Gun Violence Solutions, Hopkins faculty will “take research and advocacy to the next level as they work toward goals we all believe in: fewer gun-related injuries and deaths and safer communities,” said Ellen J. MacKenzie, dean of the Bloomberg School, in a statement announcing the center.

In addition to research and advocacy, the center will train gun violence prevention researchers, produce special reports, launch educational programs, and work with decision-makers at the federal, state, and local levels.