week of action image
Sunday, June 2, 2024

NCDPS Promotes Safe Gun Storage with Second Annual NC S.A.F.E. Week of Action Public Awareness Campaign To Provide Free Gun Locks to the Public

The N.C. Department of Public Safety is hosting the second annual NC S.A.F.E. (Secure All Firearms Effectively) Week of Action this week, June 2–8.
Jun 2, 2024

Comunicado de Prensa en español

The N.C. Department of Public Safety is hosting the second annual NC S.A.F.E. (Secure All Firearms Effectively) Week of Action this week, June 2–8. This call to action — along with the proclamation issued by Gov. Roy Cooper — highlights the importance of safe gun storage in response to an increased number of gun thefts from vehicles and the alarming rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries of minors in North Carolina.

Through the NC S.A.F.E. initiative, NCDPS demonstrates its commitment to improving the lives of all North Carolinians. This week, and every week, we’re highlighting the crucial message: One simple step can make a lifesaving difference — lock up your firearms. Throughout the Week of Action, we’ll be joined by partner organizations across the state, which will host events to highlight the importance of safe gun storage and hand out free gun locks to the public. 

“Our top priority is to keep our children and communities safe,” said William Lassiter, deputy secretary of the N.C. Division of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. “We are encouraging all North Carolinians to secure their firearms to protect themselves from theft and ultimately save lives in their communities.”

The following statistics highlight the need for safe gun storage:

  • According to FBI data, the rate of gun theft from vehicles is three times as high as it was 10 years ago.1
  • North Carolina has 10 of the top 100 U.S. cities for reports of gun thefts from vehicles. In 2022, more than 2,500 guns were stolen from vehicles throughout North Carolina.2
  • Firearms are the leading cause of injury-related death among North Carolina youth.3
  • In a 2021 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System survey, nearly 30% of North Carolina high school students reported it would take them less than an hour to get, and be ready to fire, a loaded gun without an adult’s permission; for white males, the number was 40%.4

Gun owners in North Carolina have the power to change these statistics and prevent future tragedies.

“The best ways to reach our communities is through established partnerships at the local level,” said Deputy Secretary Lassiter. “We want to encourage local organizations to learn more about this public awareness campaign and how they can get involved with distributing gun locks and important information.”

The first year of the NC S.A.F.E. campaign resulted in more than 85 million advertising and social media impressions and nearly 153,000 visits to the NC S.A.F.E. website. This coming year, the campaign plans to distribute at least 65,000 free gun locks to help North Carolinians safely store their firearms. NC S.A.F.E.’s Week of Action highlights the numerous resources available to spread the important message of safe gun storage to North Carolina communities. Visit ncsafe.org to find a safety checklist; resources for parents, schools, and pediatricians; and more.

About NC S.A.F.E.

There is an urgent need for North Carolinians to safely secure their firearms. This simple act can dramatically reduce gun theft, suicide attempts, and youth violence, and can increase the safety of North Carolina families and their 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.


1 Whitehurst, L., & Durkin Richer, A. (2024, May 9). Guns are being stolen from cars at triple the rate they were 10 years ago, a report finds. AP.
2 Tableau Public. (2024, May). Gun theft by city, map and bar.
3 North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (2022). Keeping families and communities safe: Public health approaches to reduce violence and firearm misuse leading to injury and death.
4 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. (2021). NC Healthy Schools Youth Behavior Survey (pages 220–221).


Related Content:

Related Topics: