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June 7, 2024

Greater Washington, D.C., Campaign Targets Illegal Gun Purchases

NSSF, ATF, DOJ Emphasize ‘Don’t Lie for the Other Guy

Don't Lie For the Other GuyWASHINGTON, D.C.  – NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, together with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), announced a month-long public education campaign now under way reminding the greater Washington, D.C., area public about stiff penalties facing individuals convicted of unlawful firearm purchases. The “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy™” campaign is in its 24th year and drives home the message that anyone making an illegal firearm purchase faces a federal felony penalty of up to 15 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines. The program is funded in full by the firearm industry and is now also complemented by federal funding allocated to ATF by Congress. The greater Washington, D.C., area was chosen for this specific campaign by ATF.

“The firearm industry has always been fully committed to keeping firearms out of the hands of those who should not possess them. We are proud to launch this public awareness campaign in and around Washington, D.C., and of our more than two-decade cooperative relationship with ATF, DOJ and the entire law enforcement community to assist them in their efforts to reduce criminal acquisition of firearms,” said NSSF President and CEO Joe Bartozzi.

The Washington, DC-Northern Virginia area “Don’t Lie” campaign will total more than 17.5 million gross media impressions. This includes an outdoor campaign across 7 high impact billboards and posters and 35 transit shelters throughout the region with the message: “Buy a gun for someone who can’t and buy yourself 15 years in jail. Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.” In addition, the “Don’t Lie” campaign will include almost 460 radio spots across three of the top FM stations in the market and more than 333,000 targeted streaming audio impressions. The media plan also includes more than 3.3 million targeted impressions across Facebook, Instagram and geofenced mobile display ads.

To legally purchase a firearm, a person must pass an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System verification, or NICS check, and fully comply with all state and local laws. When a criminal is illegally trafficking in firearms or knows they cannot pass this check, they may try to induce a friend or acquaintance to make the purchase for them. This is a straw purchase and is a felony.

The “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program also involves educating firearm retailers to better detect and prevent straw purchases by providing “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” retailer kits containing a training video and information for storeowners and staff, as well as point-of-purchase displays aimed to deter illegal straw purchasers.

Learn more about “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” at


About NSSF
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has over 10,0000 members including manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit


NSSF Media contact:
Mark Oliva

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