Author, economist and researcher John Lott announced on Wednesday that he is creating a new research center to “advance the scientific understanding of the relationship between laws regulating the ownership or use of guns, crime and public safety.”

John Lott (YouTube)

John Lott (YouTube)

The Crime Prevention Research Center will seek to educate the “public, journalists and policy makers” by countering “bogus” anti-gun studies with “high-quality peer-reviewed academic studies.”

There is currently a fundraising campaign underway to jumpstart the research center. Without much publicity, the campaign has raised nearly $3,000 of its $300,000 goal — with 50 days left.

Best-selling author Brad Thor told TheBlaze on Tuesday that the CPRC is “really important for liberty and the Second Amendment,” so he decided to support the initiative in a big way.

The first person who donates $10,000 or more to the CPRC fundraising campaign will actually get to name a character in Thor’s next thriller, scheduled to be released in summer of 2015.

Rocker Ted Nugent, who like Thor is a CPRC board member, is also offering backstage passes to one of his concerts to donors who give $5,000 or more. Those donors will also get the chance to talk with Nugent about the Second Amendment.

Brad Thor (ScottEVest.com)

Brad Thor (ScottEVest.com)

In a YouTube video released on Monday and uploaded on the CPRC fundraising page, Lott explained that after decades of research, he has learned that “allowing people to go and protect themselves saves lives, deters criminals from attacking.”

He said people like former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, billionaire investor George Soros and President Barack Obama are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to produce “bogus academic studies” to scare people into not owning guns. Bloomberg recently announced a $50 million anti-gun campaign to battle the National Rifle Association.

“There’s only so much that I can do by myself,” Lott added. “That is the reason why myself and other advocates have put together the Crime Prevention Research Center to try and do quality academic research to go and look at these issues and try to show with real numbers what is best for trying to go and protect people and save their lives.”

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