GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The N.C. Department of Public Safety will be co-hosting an event in partnership with ECU Health for the inaugural NC SAFE (Secure All Firearms Effectively) Week of Action.

The event will take place on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Greenville Convention Center, located at 303 Greenville Blvd. SW.

Gov. Cooper announces NC initiative focused on safe gun storage 

NCDPS launched NC SAFE in response to a skyrocketing number of deaths of children and youths caused by gun injury and a surge in gun theft. This statewide initiative is designed to raise awareness of the importance of safe firearm storage.  

“For those of us who own guns, it’s our responsibility to keep them safe and out of the wrong hands,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Safe storage is an essential part of responsible gun ownership, and this initiative will encourage North Carolinians to safely secure their firearms in their homes and vehicles.”

Guns are now the leading cause of injury-related death for children and youth in North Carolina. Across the state, more than 600 children died from firearm-related injuries from 2012 to 2021. In that time, the annual rate of those deaths increased by 231%. Greenville is tragically familiar with the consequences of unlocked guns. An 8-year-old died from his injuries after finding a gun in a family member’s car in April 2021. NC S.A.F.E. wants to teach North Carolinians that taking simple steps can make sure that kind of avoidable accident never happens again.   

The event will feature remarks from NCDPS Deputy Secretary William Lassiter; Chief Ted Sauls, Greenville Police Department; Sheriff Paula Dance, Pitt County Sheriff Department; Dr. Longshore, ECU Health Pediatric Trauma.

“Children are gaining access to firearms in their homes, and gun theft — especially from cars — is on the rise throughout North Carolina,” said NC Department of Public Safety Deputy Secretary William Lassiter. “Today, more than 20% of youth car break-ins involve guns. That’s double what we’ve seen in recent years. We all have to work together to stop guns from getting into the wrong hands.”

North Carolinians can find more information about effectively and safely securing their guns at