A new campaign launched by bipartisan group 97Percent Advocacy and Wunderman Thompson takes aim at gun safety by giving voice to a group usually shut out of the conversation: gun owners. “Aim for Change” is a petition in the form of a shooting range target that features four gun safety laws, which 97Percent’s research shows are supported by gun owners and could reduce gun-related homicides by 28% and gun-related suicides by 6%.

A short documentary-style video features gun owners at a range shooting at the bullseye on each policy to show their support. The signature line at the bottom of the petition reads: “I believe in the right to bear arms, but also in laws to keep America safe.” Those interested in signing the petition can digitally sign a target or print one to sign at aimforchange.us.

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97Percent’s research found a majority of gun owners are very concerned about the high level of gun-related violence in this country (66%). 71% percent of gun owners surveyed are concerned about the frequency of school shootings, 71% are concerned about the frequency of mass shootings, and 70% want to help find a way to reduce gun-related deaths and injuries.

And there’s agreement about how to reduce gun-related deaths. The most deeply held principle among gun owners is that people who are at the highest risk for violence should not be able to purchase or possess a gun. Using this principle, data on the specific provisions gun owners require to protect their Second Amendment rights, and a review of the efficacy of 60+ gun laws, 97Percent crafted a roadmap featuring four policies: closing the violent misdemeanor loophole, implementing state and federal background checks, passing state gun permits, and enacting red flag laws with due process protections. It is these four policies that appear on the petition.

The campaign was created by Wunderman Thompson North America, chosen from more than 100 ideas from the advertising agency’s employees who wanted to do something different to tackle the problem of gun-related violence after the elementary school shooting tragedy in Uvalde, Texas. The idea for “Aim for Change” stood out as a departure from the advertising industry’s typical anti-gun PSAs, which can alienate a large percentage of Americans in a country with 390 million guns. The agency brought the pro-bono idea to bipartisan organization 97Percent, who helped sharpen the focus of the project and provided valuable input on gun owners based on their extensive research.

Wunderman Thompson is a global creative, data, and technology agency who works with many of the world’s most well-known brands. The agency was named a 2023 Standout agency on Advertising Age’s A-List earlier this month for its “eye on the future” of advertising and has been honored as part of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas.

Gnarly Bay, a production company with the mission to elevate stories for a better tomorrow, produced the video used in the campaign.

Aim for Change gives gun owners a tangible way to voice support. Our research clearly shows the majority of gun owners support key gun safety reforms, but they feel left out of the conversation. And most gun owners greatly underestimate support among their peers – which likely inhibits gun owners from speaking up. Aim for Change is a way to unite gun owners, as well as demonstrate to non-gun owners, the media, and legislators that this issue is not nearly as divisive as it is made out to be.

Adam Miller

Co-Founder, 97Percent

Gun violence isn’t slowing down in the United States. And we need to find common ground to make progress, which is why we partnered with 97Percent. They are all about approaching this issue differently, engaging gun owners, and finding pragmatic solutions. The more we talked about this project, we realized how many ‘people like us’ are gun owners. 97Percent really opened our eyes to the majority of gun owners who could make a difference in our laws and needed a voice.

Tom Murphy

Chief Creative Officer, Wunderman Thompson North America

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