CONCORD — A public service announcement effort is now in place to help battle drug and gun crimes in the the state.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in New Hampshire and U.S. Attorney Scott W. Murray have launched the announcements primarily aimed at increasing awareness about drug trafficking and related gun crimes.

The opioid crisis has had a dramatic negative impact on New Hampshire and several of the public service announcements solicit the public's help in fighting back against drug traffickers.

One unfortunate side effect of the opioid crisis is the increased number of incidents where individuals from New Hampshire have traded guns in order to obtain drugs, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's office in Concord.

Drug traffickers then may actively solicit customers to obtain guns for them. Additionally, convicted felons, those convicted of domestic violence, and others who are prohibited from possessing guns often offer money or drugs to get New Hampshire residents to buy guns for them, presenting serious safety risks to Granite State residents, the statement read.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has developed a variety of social media public service announcements in order to educate people about the consequences of these illegal activities.

“Drug trafficking and violent crime jeopardize the safety and security of the citizens of New Hampshire,” Murray said. “Armed drug dealers are a menace to everyone. Law enforcement officers are working to protect the community each day."

The public service announcements include three 60-second videos and three 30-second videos, as well as three 15-second videos and five six second videos on various social media platforms.

All of these announcements are available for download and serve many purposes including increasing awareness about the dangers and consequences of exchanging guns for drugs; educating and warning people about the criminal consequences of buying a gun for someone you don’t know or someone who cannot legally possess a gun; addressing the opioid crisis in New Hampshire; educating the public about the damage drug cartels are doing to New Hampshire, and sending a message to armed drug dealers that they are the number one prosecution priority for the U.S. Attorney.

"With these public service announcements, we are seeking to raise awareness about these crimes and to solicit the public’s assistance in helping us to make the Granite State safer," Murray said. "A fully informed public is a powerful deterrent against the harm caused by drug traffickers.”

Additionally, the audio messages and the messages on social media platforms aim to increase awareness of the dangers and consequences of exchanging guns for drugs and the criminal consequences of buying a gun for someone you don’t know or someone who cannot legally possess a gun.

For more information about the campaign and to see the public service announcements, visit usao-nh/crimefreenh.

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