A powerful message about gun safety is being broadcast across Central Florida through ten strategically placed billboards. The Ninth Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office has launched a campaign featuring Orange County Sheriff John Mina and Osceola County Sheriff Marcos Lopez, emphasizing the critical importance of responsible firearm storage to help reduce gun violence in the community.

Every nine minutes, at least one gun is stolen from a car in the United States, according to research by Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. This alarming statistic highlights a significant and growing issue in the country, with substantial implications for public safety. The theft of firearms from vehicles has tripled over the past decade, making it the largest source of stolen guns. These stolen firearms frequently end up being used in other crimes, including violent offenses, thereby exacerbating the problem of gun violence across communities.

The ease with which these thefts occur is often due to improperly stored firearms in unattended vehicles. Many gun owners leave their weapons in their cars, either unlocked or without proper secure storage, creating an attractive target for thieves. The stolen guns are then circulated in the illegal market, making them accessible to individuals who might not otherwise have been able to obtain firearms legally.

“Improperly stored firearms not only endanger our families but can also significantly contribute to crime in our community,” stated State Attorney Bain. “Firearms stolen from vehicles are frequently used by criminals, increasing the problem of gun violence. Taking simple steps to secure firearms in vehicles will reduce gun thefts and ultimately help save lives. We can create safer environments for our families and neighbors by working together and educating others.”

Thanks to the generous support of the Figgers Foundation, the billboards will be on display through July 31 at the following locations:

  • Interstate 4, west of John Young Parkway (facing west)
  • Interstate 4, west of John Young Parkway (facing northeast)
  • Red Bug Lake Road, west of State Road 417
  • State Road 436, east of Piedmont Wekiva Road
  • State Road 528, west of Daetwyler Drive
  • State Road 436, north of State Road 50
  • U.S. Hwy 17/92, north of State Road 434
  • U.S. Hwy 441 South, south of Taft Vineland Road
  • Old Winter Garden Road, east of Kirkman Road
  • U.S. Hwy 17/92, north of County Road 427