Unsafe gun storage in the U.S. is a big and deadly problem. 76% of school shooters access their firearms from the home and access to a firearm triples the risk of death by suicide.
These frightening stats are at the center of a new PSA campaign from The Ad Council and anti-gun violence advocate organization Brady. With the newest addition to the life-saving End Family Fire campaign, “Prepare for Misuse” evolves the campaign’s longtime focus on the dangers of unsecured guns by depicting the broad range of gun violence—including unintentional shootings, firearm suicide, and intentional shootings—that can be prevented through safe gun storage.
The PSAs, which will appear nationwide and were created pro bono by McKinney, brings awareness to the issue of family fire, gives owners a role in gun violence prevention and encourages a national dialogue around safe firearm storage practices—all of which are proven strategies to prevent tragedies of family fire, which contribute to America’s gun violence epidemic.
In the spots, a gun is shown being insecurely kept in a bedroom nightstand. Each spot explores a different scenario of how the unsecured gun in the home could result in a fatal death, from an unintentional shooting by a child to gun suicides and intentional shootings. The spots end with a message that guns should be “locked, unloaded, and away from ammunition.”
Family fire refers to a shooting caused by someone having access to a gun from the home when they shouldn’t have it. In the U.S., 42% of adults live in a firearm-owning household, with 4.6 million children living in homes with unlocked and loaded guns.
“For the first time, we have expanded our effort to show the impact of unsecured firearms being misused both inside and now outside of the home, like in a school,” said Kris Brown, president, Brady in a statement. “Our aim with this initiative is to motivate gun owners across the country to prevent the tragedy of family fire, and we hope these new PSAs inspire people to take action within their homes to protect their loved ones.”
According to an Ad Council study, more than half of gun owners or adults in gun-owning households who are aware of the “End Family Fire” campaign report that they have taken steps to store their firearms more safely.
“As a creative, I want to keep the pressure on us all to advocate for changes that will save lives because becoming numb to the issue isn’t an option,” said Alex Shulhafer, creative group director at McKinney in a statement.