Non-Profit Takes Aim at Gun Violence by Creating a Teddy Bear Gun

New Public Awareness Campaign Inspires People to Take Action Against a Failing System. More than 30,000 people die from gun-related deaths in the U.S each year.

While guns are arguably the most dangerous consumer product on the market, the governmental regulation involved in their manufacturing is minimal. It is this nonsensical lack of regulation that a new public awareness campaign titled “Teddy Gun” aims to highlight.

The Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV), a non-profit organization that focuses on handgun violence prevention and handgun control, is working to bring this issue to the attention of both state and federal governments with the creation of the Teddy Gun.

“The Teddy Gun is a profound yet tragically ironic symbol of the absence of government regulations of one of the most dangerous consumer products,” said Colleen Daley, Executive Director, ICHV. “Our goal with Teddy Gun is to raise awareness and encourage elected officials to support measures that can and will save lives.”

Teddy bears, the quintessential embodiment of love and care, are required to meet far more safety standards than guns. The Teddy Gun resembles a cuddly teddy bear but, to avoid the strict regulations placed on toys, and to shine a spotlight on the senseless shortage of gun manufacturing regulations, this product has been designed as a gun. Key functional elements have intentionally been omitted from its construction to ensure it cannot be used as a functioning weapon, but its simple existence is proof that this is an issue that requires attention.

ICHV brings attention to the gun violence epidemic in innovative ways by educating and inspiring people to take action in support of common sense gun violence prevention measures. The organization partnered with advertising agency FCB in 2015 to create the “Unforgotten" campaign, an award-winning art installation and interactive experience featuring arresting memorials of actual victims of gun violence. To continue the momentum, 2017 efforts will center on the Teddy Gun.

FCB Chicago helped ICHV create the actual Teddy Gun as a means to demonstrate the absurdity of being able to produce one of the most dangerous products on the market, with fewer restrictions and regulations than those placed on a child’s plush toy. The fact that this product is a gun and not a child’s toy meant that the product could be created without adhering to the strict regulations that are placed on the toy industry.

Working with award-winning film director Ben Flaherty, the story of the Teddy Gun will be told through a documentary film highlighting its creation, design, development and production. The film calls attention to the lack of regulation throughout the manufacturing process and illustrates how a dangerous gun can be brought to market more easily than an innocent teddy bear.

People are encouraged to visit teddygun.com to learn more about common sense gun regulations, view the documentary film, and take action by contacting their senators.

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1 The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Deaths: Final Data for 2014

About The Illinois Council against Handgun Violence
ICHV is the oldest and largest statewide organization in the U.S. working to prevent the devastation caused by firearms. Founded in 1975 by four suburban Chicago women concerned about the tragic consequences of handgun proliferation and availability, ICHV works on a variety of fronts to educate, raise public awareness, and build coalitions to enact change in laws and behavior. For 40 years, ICHV has been a leader among state gun violence prevention groups. Learn more at ichv.org or on social media (Twitter/Instagram: @NoGunViolence, Facebook: Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence).

About FCB
FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding) is a global, fully integrated marketing communications company focused on changing consumer behavior for the benefit of clients, colleagues and communities. With more than 8,000 people from 120 offices in 80 countries, the network brings strong understanding of local markets and cultures while continuing a heritage of creativity and success dating from 1873. Learn more at www.FCB.com or on social media (Twitter/Instagram: @FCBglobal, Facebook/LinkedIn: FCB Global). FCB is part of the Interpublic Group of Companies (NYSE:IPG).

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