Emory Panel Criticizes Gun Book; Author Quits

ATLANTA -- An Emory University professor resigned after an academic panel skewered the research for his controversial book, "Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture," about the history of guns in the United States.

Michael Bellesiles, a history professor, said in a statement that he "cannot continue to teach in what I feel is a hostile environment."

The 40-page report concluded that Bellesiles was "guilty of unprofessional and misleading work" in his research. It was written by scholars from Harvard, Princeton and the University of Chicago, and was released Friday. It .

The report said Bellesiles's failure to cite sources for crucial data "does move into the realm of 'falsification.' " It also suggested that he omitted other researchers' data that contradicted his arguments.

Bellesiles denied the charges. "I have never fabricated evidence of any kind nor knowingly evaded my responsibilities as a scholar," he said.

His book received national attention for its contention that early Americans did not own or use firearms in great numbers. Gun-rights advocates criticized the book, and scholars suggested that the author made serious errors, prompting Emory to form an investigative panel in February.

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-- From News Services