$1 million to fund gun-storage PSA campaign

Get ready for a barrage of public service announcements on safe gun storage.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance announced today that it has awarded $1 million to the National Crime Prevention Council – yes, the folks who brought you McGruff the Crime Dog and his “Take a Bite Out of Crime” campaign – to support the development of a national public education campaign on the subject of responsible gun ownership and safe gun storage.

The council will create, produce, and distribute television, radio, and outdoor PSAs that encourage gun owners to safely store their firearms so that they do not fall into the wrong hands. The campaign will also emphasize the importance of immediately reporting lost or stolen guns to local law enforcement to ensure public safety.

“As part of President Obama’s comprehensive plan to reduce gun violence, the Administration is committed to working with firearm owners and enthusiasts to prevent tragic accidents and keep guns from falling into the wrong hands,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a news release. “We are determined to implement the kinds of common-sense solutions that our citizens – and especially our young people – deserve.”

PSAs created through this award are expected to be distributed to more than 1,700 television stations, nearly 15,000 radio stations and more than 500 cable networks in 210 markets this summer. There’s no word yet on whether this campaign will feature the canine king of crime prevention.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • RR senile columnist

    Hey there, fellows and gals! Remember to lock away your firearms and ammo ! Maybe your bro or dad has a few issues with ya, liked to drink a lot, or is just bored with y’all. Maybe some creepy neighbor likes to drop by. All good reasons to practice gun safety!

  • JohnW

    I have a nephew in Michigan who was 101st Airborne, now does weapons consulting to movie producers and has an arsenal of stuff I don’t even want to know about. Supposedly keeps everything secure but lives in a trailer park. How secure can that be?

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    For your entertainment purpose. A cartoon dog will tell people not to leave a gun, with a bullet in the chamber, in reach of small children.

  • JohnW


    Seems obvious, but we’d probably be surprised how often not observed. There was one 4-year old kid in a Chicago suburb who started playing around with his grandfather’s revolver that was left on a kitchen table, next to a bag of ammo. Fortunately, no harm came of it. That kid was me many moons ago.

    Of course, the other obvious but often ignored advice is to always assume there’s one in the chamber. Not long ago, there was a dad who set his handgun on the dashboard while his young son was in the back seat. Gun went bang. Kid gone. Dad said he thought the gun wasn’t loaded. You hear stories like that all the time.

    In designing a PSA campaign about guns, never underestimate the stupidity of the audience.

  • Publius

    Sounds like a waste of money.

    This is exactly the type of crap we can afford to cut. Americans should be outraged that people are waliking around with free cellphones, while the White House is closed to visitors.

    The cost of Obama’s last Golf outing with Tiger would fund the White House tours for an entire year. Due to the evil GOP Obama was forced to mmake cuts. Instead of focusing on wasteful spending he opportunistically cut access to a high profile national monument (reminiscent of Bubba and the Washington Monument). What makes this move by the White House even more dispicable is that closing the White House to tours is the ONLY CUT that has been made to the administrations budget since sequestration! Talk about transparency. Making the cuts hurt as much as possible is priority #1.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    We get stupider by the day, if we read the obviously corrupt newspapers & watch the Idiot Screen. Hopefully the cartoon dog will tell people to never point a gun at anyone. There is nothing scarier than having an idiot point a gun at you. The idiot who pointed a gun at me, years ago, thought it was funny.
    Oops! Movies & TV are filled with idiots pointing guns at other people.
    I have shot 2 holes in walls, with repeating rifles I thought were empty. I have also had a gun stolen, that was in a closet with a deadbolt lock. The bigger the lock, the bigger the crooks interest.
    My mother kept telling me: The revolver on the kitchen table, story. She claims she pointed it at her favorite brother.

  • Elwood

    The Chosen One couldn’t close the Washington monument because it was already closed for post-earthquake repairs so he cancelled White House tours.

    What an idiot!

  • JohnW


    Interesting comment about stolen guns, which are a big part of the illegal guns on the streets. The thieves seem to have a sixth sense about where to go to steal. Once when I was working in Bellevue, Washington (Seattle burb), an employee drove up from Olympia (an hour or so away) to interview for a promotion. Our building was in a secluded wooded area, with the parking lot in front, right outside my office window, where we conducted the interview. When she left the building after the interview, she found her window smashed and her handgun missing from her glove compartment. This happened in broad daylight, about a 100 feet from my office.

    Hers was the only car broken into, so it appears somebody knew what they were doing. My question has always been, how? Yet, there are states passing laws at the behest of the NRA that would prohibit employers from banning weapons stored in trunks while parked in company parking lots.

  • JohnW


    The Blue Angels are also canceling summer performances.

    Canceling the WH tours could be a time-honored “Washington Monument” strategy that backfires. However, one suspects that the reason members of Congress are squealing is not so much because they think it’s silly but rather because they have to deal directly with constituents disappointed about the tours. Methinks that’s the idea. A little extra incentive to get busy making the cuts that make sense, restoring the spending that shouldn’t be cut and doing a grand bargain on entitlements and revenue.

    All the fuss about the WH tours is diverting attention from real meat on the bones cuts that will start kicking in in a few weeks, including furloughs equivalent to 20% pay cuts across the government, including Defense. They need to fix this.

  • Bruce R. Peterson, Lafayette

    They might have a kid in diapers, who looks like a famous Republican, shoot the feathers off of Big Bird, with the loaded revolver left on the kitchen table. That would get attention, plus free air time on mainstream TV.