January 31, 2013
SW Border Campaign Targets Illegal Gun Purchases
NSSF Promotes Don’t Lie for the Other Guy Program in Texas, Arizona
As part of an ongoing national effort to help prevent illegal “straw” purchases of firearms, NSSF is reminding the public along the Southern border in Texas and Arizona that stiff penalties are in place for individuals convicted of such purchases.
Radio and billboard advertisements for the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program are being aired by NSSF in English and Spanish in the El Paso, McAllen/Brownsville and Laredo, Texas markets, as well as in the Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona area. 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 130 million media impressions will be delivered from January through March through the public-education program, which is being funded by the firearms industry.
“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.
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 acquaintance 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 Texas and Arizona 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.”
This public awareness campaign constitutes only part of the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy outreach effort. The full Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program, which also involves educating firearms retailers to better detect and prevent straw purchases, has been rolled out in major cities throughout the country and has run before along the U.S.-Mexican border. 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 www.dontlie.org.