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The Ad Council & Brady Encourage Gun Owners to ‘Prepare for Misuse’ with help from McKinney

National Public Service Advertisements Encourage Safe Gun Storage to “End Family Fire”

New York, NY, March 23, 2023 — Today the Ad Council and Brady launch the newest addition to the life-saving End Family Fire campaign, “Prepare for Misuse.” The new public service advertisements (PSAs) evolve 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, include a series of digital and TV spots and out-of-home (OOH) created pro bono by creative and media agency McKinney.

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. Access to a firearm also triples the risk of death by suicide. As the new PSAs state, 76% of school shooters access their firearm from the home. In a moment of crisis, safe firearm storage can prevent fatal outcomes, including unintentional shootings, suicides, and mass shootings.

“This latest effort from End Family Fire taps into the wider ramifications that an unsecured gun can have in a way our campaign has never done before,” said Kris Brown, President, Brady. “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. 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.”

In the new PSAs, 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. Whether it be a young child unintentionally shooting a parent, a minor taking the gun to school, or an individual dying by gun suicide, the series of spots encompass all the different types of family fire — gun suicide, unintentional, and intentional shootings. To end each spot, a message on how to securely store your gun to prevent misuse is shared, stating that guns should be stored “locked, unloaded, and away from ammunition.”

This campaign 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. 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 (Data source: Ad Council online survey of 1,816 U.S. adults who reside in gun-owning households, fielded by Ipsos October 1, 2022-December 31, 2022).

“This campaign addresses one of the most significant public health crises facing Americans - gun violence. 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. “This campaign addresses gun safety by encouraging gun owners to protect their families and prevent tragedies by storing their guns securely and our directors, Winston and Aaron Tao, were able to speak to this authentically as gun owners themselves.”

“We all want to keep our families and loved ones safe,” said Michelle Hillman, Chief Campaign Development Officer, the Ad Council. “This new work empowers people with guns in their home to start an important dialogue around safe storage practices and take the necessary steps to help prevent the tragedy of family fire. We’re grateful to our incredible partners at Brady and McKinney for their commitment to this critical issue and lifesaving work.”

“Family fire is preventable,” said Brady advocate and Parkland father, Fred Guttenberg. “As a parent who lost my daughter to gun violence, this work is extremely important to my family and the millions of Americans impacted by gun violence each year. We must address all types of family fire and provide actionable steps to prevent these tragedies.”

This new creative will run across social, digital, online video, OOH and broadcast TV media nationwide in time and space donated by the media. To learn more about the campaign and how to promote responsible gun ownership, visit

About McKinney
McKinney is a creative and media agency headquartered in Durham, NC, with locations in Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and New York. Part of the Cheil Worldwide network, McKinney’s footprint gives us direct access to Main Street America while being steeped in the latest in entertainment, emerging trends, and innovation. We partner with clients — from the top marketers in the world to nonprofits — to help them realize their untapped potential.

We’ve been recognized by Cannes Lions, Effies, The One Show, D&AD, ANDY, CLIO, LIA, the Shortys, and The Webby Awards, among others. McKinney works with brands, across a broad range of categories, to create and implement a modern communications ecosystem. Some of our current client partners include Blue Diamond Growers, Pampers, Little Caesars, Puma Running, Stop & Shop, ESPN, Samsung, Columbia Sportswear, Sherwin-Williams and Choice Hotels International, as well as pro bono clients Urban Ministries of Durham and the Ad Council. For more information, visit

About The Ad Council
The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation's most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels.

The Ad Council's innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

About Brady
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and communities to fight for common-sense gun laws, hold the gun industry accountable, and push for social change to free our country of gun violence. In the spirit of our founders, Jim and Sarah Brady, we work across the aisle to bring together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common-sense solutions. Learn more about Brady at, and follow @bradybuzz on social media.

About End Family Fire
End Family Fire, a joint effort from Brady and the Ad Council that first launched in August 2018, aims to encourage safe gun storage by putting a name to the preventable tragedies that occur when guns in the home are misused. “Family fire,” a term developed for the campaign, refers to a shooting caused by someone having access to a gun from the home when they shouldn’t have it. This includes children as well as those who display behavior that indicates they could harm themselves or others. The campaign aims to bring awareness to the issue of family fire, give gun owners a role in gun violence prevention, and encourage a national dialogue around safe storage practices—all of which can help prevent tragedies of family fire.