NEWTOWN, Conn. – As part of an ongoing national effort to help deter illegal “straw” purchases of firearms, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is reminding the public in the Oakland and Richmond, Calif. area that stiff penalties are in place for individuals convicted of such purchases.
Billboard advertisements for the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program are being purchased by NSSF in key locations throughout the East Bay region with the message: “Buy a gun for someone who can’t and buy yourself 10 years in jail. Whatever you do … Don’t Lie for the Other Guy…”
More than 11.3 million weekly media impressions will be delivered via billboard and mass transit shelter posters through April 19 through the public-education program, which is being funded by the firearms industry. In addition more than 900 30-second radio spots will air during the campaign.
“Don’t Lie” is a cooperative program between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and NSSF, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. The effort was developed over a decade ago to raise public awareness about the seriousness of the crime of purchasing a firearm for someone who cannot legally do so. The program also helps ATF educate firearms dealers so they can be better prepared to deter potential straw purchases. The public campaign drives home the message that anyone attempting an illegal firearm purchase faces a stiff federal felony penalty of up to 10 years in jail or up to $250,000 in fines.
The Oakland-Richmond, East Bay region was chosen for this campaign in consultation with ATF. Last week, NSSF announced a similar public awareness campaign had been launched in the Camden, N.J. and Wilmington. Del. areas.
To legally purchase a firearm, a person must be able to pass an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check and fully comply with state and local laws. When a criminal knows he cannot pass this check, he may try to induce a friend or other person to make the purchase on his behalf, which is known as a straw purchase and is a felony.
“Our goal is to raise awareness among residents of the East Bay area through billboards on the highways, transit advertising and radio ads that there are serious consequences for illegally straw purchasing a firearm,” said Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “This warning can help deter an illegal purchase long before a person steps into a licensed retail store.”
The Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program has been rolled out in major cities throughout the country and has run before along the U.S.-Mexican border and in major cities such as Chicago and Detroit. This is a campaign that ATF has called “vital” and “an important tool for ATF as it pursues its mission of preventing terrorism, reducing violent crime, and protecting the nation.”
In the retailer segment, federal firearms licensees are provided a Don’t Lie for the Other Guy retailer kit. Each kit contains a training video and informational brochure for storeowners and staff, as well as point-of-purchase displays aimed to deter illegal straw purchases.
“The firearms industry is proud of its longstanding cooperative relationship with the ATF and the entire law enforcement community by assisting them in their efforts to combat the criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms,” said NSSF Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel.
Learn more about Don’t Lie for the Other Guy at dontlie.org.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 11,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit nssf.org.