Veterans make up roughly 7% of U.S. adults, but they account for 18% of the nation’s gun suicide deaths. Brady and the Ad Council are launching new digital video public service advertisements (PSAs) for their End Family Fire campaign: “Service Never Stops .” The series features real Veterans encouraging their fellow Veterans to store their firearms securely to protect themselves and their loved ones. Directed and produced by creative teams that included Veterans, the PSAs raise awareness about the risks of “family fire,” a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun in the home.
Veterans continue to use guns more than any other means of suicide. According to the 2021 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, 69% of Veteran suicides involve a gun, compared to 48% of suicides among the rest of the U.S. population. Storing firearms securely—locked, unloaded, and separately from their ammunition—can delay access to a highly lethal weapon in a moment of crisis.
“The suicide rate for Veterans is one and a half times the rate for non-Veteran adults,” said Kris Brown, president of Brady. “An estimated 17 Veterans die by suicide every day, and 12 by gun suicide. This is a crisis and one that requires immediate attention and evidence-based solutions. Our hope is that these PSAs will help to bring awareness to the need for safe storage to reduce the risk of suicide by gun by placing time and space between a Veteran thinking of suicide and an accessible, usable firearm. Our Veterans have already served our country and we cannot abandon them as they undergo this fight here back at home.”
“Veterans are deeply committed to serving others, and that service can continue by protecting themselves and their families from the preventable tragedy of family fire,” said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer, the Ad Council. “Through our partnership with Facebook Creative Shop and Gig Line Media, we’re honored to work with Veterans in front of and behind the camera to share this lifesaving message of safe gun storage.”
Facebook Creative Shop, Facebook’s in-house creative strategy team, worked pro bono to develop the “Service Never Stops” creative concept and a suite of graphics and videos optimized for Facebook and Instagram ad formats. The PSAs will appear in media donated by Facebook beginning this week.
The Ad Council and Veteran-owned creative shop Gig Line Media ( the production arm of We Are The Mighty) are also extending the campaign with additional work for broadcast, radio, out-of-home, and digital formats. These PSAs will appear in donated time and space nationwide beginning in October, driving to EndFamilyFire.org for more information about how to store guns safely.
“We are military Veterans ourselves, and it’s so important we get this work done authentic and right,” said Air Force Veteran and Gig Line Media CEO, Mark Harper. “We pour ourselves into the production and think of the storytelling from the perspective of being a Veteran to make sure it resonates with our military Veteran community.”
The “Service Never Stops” PSAs extend the End Family Fire campaign which initially launched in August 2018. 32% of gun owners who are aware of the campaign report having sought information about safe gun storage in the past year, compared to just 6% of those who are not aware. (Data source: Ad Council online survey of 1824 U.S. adults who reside in gun-owning households, fielded by Ipsos March 1, 2021-June 30 2021.)