North Carolina Department of Public Safety launches NC S.A.F.E. initiative

Last Updated on May 25, 2023 10:52 am

In response to a skyrocketing number of deaths of children and youths caused by firearm injury and a surge in firearm thefts, the N.C. Department of Public Safety (NCDPS) today launches a statewide initiative to raise awareness of the importance of safe firearm storage. The NC S.A.F.E. (Secure All Firearms Effectively) public awareness campaign includes: digital, TV and radio advertising; social media; and a website,, where North Carolinians can find more information about effectively and safely securing their guns.

“Safely securing firearms is an easy step we can all take to prevent a tragedy,” said NCDPS Secretary Eddie M. Buffaloe Jr. “I ask all North Carolinians to review the campaign resources and implement the strategies to help reduce unnecessary injuries and deaths.”

Proper firearm storage can make a difference in homes and communities. An estimated 380,000 guns are stolen every year, and vehicles are hot spots for gun theft. According to the N.C. Child Fatality Task Force, deaths from firearm-related injuries increased 231% from 2012 to 2021 among children and youths in North Carolina.1 Guns have become the leading cause of injury-related death within this population in North Carolina, with an average of 156 children and teens dying by firearms every year.2 NC S.A.F.E., featuring the theme “Lock it up. Keep it safe,” is sharing vital information online through public service announcements and other messaging across the state.

“Properly storing your firearms is key to decreasing juvenile crime, keeping guns out of schools and saving lives,” said William Lassiter, deputy secretary of the N.C. Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “Children are gaining access to firearms at home, and we’re seeing a rise in gun thefts — especially from cars — throughout the state. We have to work together to stop guns from getting into the wrong hands.”

Simple steps can save lives. Visit to get information on safe storage options, a safety checklist, guidance for parents, and more details on how to spread the word in your community.

From Sunday, June 4, through Saturday, June 10, as part of its inaugural Week of Action, NC S.A.F.E. will co-host events across the state in conjunction with partner organizations dedicated to making a difference in their communities. Gov. Roy Cooper will kick off the week on June 5.

About NC S.A.F.E.: There is an urgent need for North Carolinians to safely secure their firearms in order to decrease childhood deaths, decrease firearm thefts, and increase the safety of homes and communities. NC S.A.F.E. (Secure All Firearms Effectively) is a statewide initiative designed to raise awareness of the importance of safe firearm storage. Established in 2023, the program provides resources on best practices for firearm storage and safety. NC S.A.F.E. is not associated with any advocacy-based initiatives related to gun laws or regulations.

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