As part of an ongoing national effort to help prevent illegal “straw” purchases of firearms, the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are reminding the public in the Boston 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 have been purchased by NSSF in key locations throughout the region with the message: “Buy a gun for someone who can’t and buy yourself 10 years in jail. Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.”
The month-long public awareness campaign was officially launched today with a short program at the Bass Pro Shops, 1 Bass Pro Drive, Foxborough, Mass. Present at the event were representatives of the ATF Boston Field Division, Massachusetts State Police, the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office, Foxborough Police Department, and NSSF.
The Boston campaign will deliver a total of 12.9 million impressions through billboards and social media. The message can be seen by commuters on all the MBTA lines in and out of Boston. Additionally, Don’t Lie for the Other Guy messages will be displayed on digital billboards along key roadways and arteries including but not limited to Interstates 93, 495, and 290, as well as Routes 9 and 146.
Don’t Lie for the Other Guy radio advertising will reach across Boston airwaves in several local stations, delivering more than 1.2 million impressions. The social media component is highly targeted both demographically and geographically, delivering Don’t Lie on social media platforms Facebook and Instagram, as well as in apps. Boston was chosen for this special campaign by ATF. No taxpayer dollars are used. The program is funded in full by the firearms industry.
“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.
“Don’t Lie” is a cooperative program ATF and NSSF, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. The effort was developed more than 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 other person to make the purchase on his behalf, which is known as a straw purchase and is a felony.
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. In the retailer segment, federal firearms licensees are provided a Don’t Lie for the Other Guy retailer kit containing a training video and informational brochure for storeowners and staff, as well as point-of-purchase displays aimed to deter illegal straw purchases.
Learn more about Don’t Lie for the Other Guy at www.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 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org/.