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 Midland-Odessa region 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 launched July 11 and was highlighted for the media today with a short program at Odessa Police headquarters. Present at the event were representatives of the ATF Dallas Field Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas, the Midland Police Department, Odessa Police Department, Ector County Sheriff’s Office, Midland County Sheriff’s Office, Ector County District Attorney’s Office and Midland County District Attorney’s Office.
More than 2.6 million weekly media impressions will be delivered via billboards around the cities while 2,000 30-second radio spots will air on nine stations during the campaign. Midland-Odessa was chosen for this special campaign by ATF. No taxpayer dollars are used. The program is funded in full by the firearms industry.
“As evidenced today, 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.
Some of the Midland-Odessa area billboard locations are provided below:
- Highway 191 East of Church. (facing east)
- I-20 0.7 mile west of Midkiff (facing east)
- Loop 250 @ exit for Highway 191
- I-20 0.5 mi. east of Highway 158 – Garden City Highway (facing west
- Highway 80 @ Ken’s RV (facing east)
- Andrews Highway south of Yukon (facing north)
Radio stations airing public service announcements are: KBAT-FM, KCHX-FM, KCRS-AM, KCRS-FM, KMMZ-FM KNFM-FM, KODM-FM and KZBT-FM.
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 13,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit nssf.org.