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In 2013, the National Crime Prevention Council teamed with the Ad Council and Merkley+Partners to produce a new public education campaign in an effort to engage firearms owners and prospective owners on the importance of safe firearms storage.

Emphasizing that owning a firearm comes with both rights and responsibilities, the campaign strives to encourage a national dialogue among the general public, specifically adults with their children, about firearms and firearms safety.

Never let your gun get into the wrong hands.  It’s not only a tagline in this Safe Firearms Storage campaign, it is also a strong reminder to owners to store their firearms safely by locking them up to avoid unauthorized use and access.

The campaign ends with a simple call to action to firearms owners to “Lock It Up” when their firearms are not in use.


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The campaigns that NCPC and the Ad Council have produced over a 30+ year partnership have been powerful — raising public awareness and moving the public to take action.  For more than a decade, NCPC and the Ad Council produced public service announcements (PSAs) on preventing gun-related violence and promoting safe storage of firearms to keep our families and communities safe from crime.

There is no magic solution that will eradicate mass shootings, teen suicides, or accidental shootings with firearms in the home.  But we can do our part to reduce the likelihood of these tragedies occurring.  The safe firearms storage campaign encourages owners to simply lock them up — using available technology and equipment such as gun locks and safes.
We teach drivers to buckle up in case of accidents and to lock their cars. The same logic applies to this campaign: we want owners to lock up their firearms when not in use to prevent accidents and keep them out of the wrong hands. Throughout our partnership, NCPC and the Ad Council have come together to address emergent issues and help the public understand how they can play a role in preventing harm.  This campaign follows that model by stressing the need for responsible storage of firearms in the home and reporting lost or stolen firearms to local law enforcement.


NCPC Horizantal

The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC), founded in 1982, is the nation’s nonprofit leader in crime prevention. For 30 years, our recognizable icon McGruff the Crime Dog® has delivered easy-to-use crime prevention tips that empower citizens individually and collectively to keep themselves, their families, and their communities safe from crime.  With a vast network of local and state law enforcement agencies, local community groups, foundations, and corporate partners, NCPC makes an impact on personal safety and crime every day.

Through our National Citizens’ Crime Prevention Campaign we have shifted public perception from the belief that crime prevention is the responsibility of law enforcement to the belief that every person can do something to “Take A Bite Out Of Crime®.”  When the campaign was formally launched in 1979, most Americans felt helpless and thought crime prevention was solely the job of the police. Today, more than three out of four Americans believe that they can personally take actions to reduce crime.

Ad Council LogoThe Ad Council is a private, nonprofit organization that marshals volunteer talent from the advertising and communications industries, the media and the business and nonprofit communities to deliver critical messages to the American public. The Ad Council produces, distributes and promotes public service campaigns on behalf of nonprofit organizations and government agencies in issue areas such as, preventive health, education, community well-being, strengthening families and improving the quality of life for children.

The Ad Council has endeavored to improve the lives of all Americans since first creating the category of public service advertising in 1942. Ad Council icons and slogans are woven into the very fabric of American culture. From its earliest efforts including "Loose Lips Sink Ships" and Smokey Bear's "Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires," to the iconic “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk” and of course, NCPC’s "Take A Bite Out Of Crime," these PSAs have been raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives for more than 70 years.

Merkley Associates Logo

Merkley+Partners is a full-service marketing and advertising agency providing strategic direction to clients and creating print, broadcast, digital, social, viral, brand identity and CRM programs. Merkley services clients across a range of categories including packaged goods, automotive, financial and pharmaceutical. The agency was founded in 1993 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Omnicom Group Inc., a leading worldwide communications company.


The Bureau of Justice Assistance’s (BJA) mission is to provide leadership and services in grant administration and criminal justice policy development to support state, local, and tribal justice strategies to achieve safer communities. BJA funds the Safe Firearms Storage public education campaign through grant number 2010-GP-BX-K006.  BJA is a component of the U.S.  Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking.

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