The Ad Council and Brady announce the release of new national public service advertisements (PSAs) encouraging Americans to protect their families from the risks of unsecured firearms in the home. Following the unprecedented surge in gun sales this spring—FBI data indicates that record-breaking numbers of guns were purchased across the country since March, many by first-time gun owners—these PSAs encourage gun owners to store guns locked, unloaded, and with ammunition stored separately.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, eight children and teens were injured or killed by family fire in the United States every day. The influx of guns while families and children are sheltering at home during the pandemic potentially increases the risk of family fire, a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun found in the home.
Awareness of the issue is key to inspiring the actions that can prevent family fire. Since the “End Family Fire” campaign launched in August 2018, nearly six in 10 gun-owning parents in America, 57 percent, are aware of the campaign. Those who are aware of the campaign are more than twice as likely to have sought information about safe gun storage in the past year (45 percent among campaign-aware compared to 17 percent of those who are not campaign-aware).*
The new suite of TV, radio and digital PSAs will be distributed to the Ad Council’s network of over 1,850 local broadcast TV stations and 9,500 radio stations and will run in donated time and space nationwide.
Ad Council Chief Campaign Development Officer Michelle Hillman shared:
“In this time of uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Ad Council is committed to sharing actionable, accurate information to help keep families safe and healthy. These new PSAs remind parents and caregivers that one thing they can control is whether their children and teens have access to guns in the home.”
Brady President Kris Brown explained:
“This spring, while tens of millions of minors stayed home from school, many Americans purchased new firearms—often for the first time. We know that adherence to safe storage practices can help reduce these unintentional shootings and other forms of family fire. Now, more than ever, awareness of these practices is needed to prevent gun violence. These new PSAs are an indispensable part of that effort.”
The full suite of new PSAs includes:
- “Safe Storage Saves Lives,” created by Merlin Camozzi, a Los Angeles-based attorney passionate about gun violence prevention
- “Now More Than Ever,” created pro bono by the Bustle Digital Group
- Radio spots created pro bono by creative agency Wordsworth + Booth
- Original videos developed with Twitter ArtHouse by Creator Dylan Blau, who specializes in animation and high-quality stop motion design. Dylan created two feed-stopping videos to demonstrate the importance of proper gun safety and storage in the home, especially given that kids get into everything. Through a collaboration with Twitter Next, the campaign also includes a custom emoji that appears when people on Twitter use the hashtag #EndFamilyFire. Twitter will support this creative throughout the summer with donated media.
Each of these PSAs reminds gun owners to store guns locked, unloaded, and separately from ammunition, and drives viewers to EndFamilyFire.org for more tips and resources to make their homes safer.
*Data source: Ad Council online tracking survey of U.S. gun-owning parents conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, Inc. from January to March 2020, n=728.