PITTSBURGH – 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 Pittsburgh 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 Field and Stream, 1000 Cranberry Square Drive, Cranberry Township, Penn. Present at the event were representatives of the United States Attorney, Western District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Alleghany County Sheriff’s Office, Cranberry Township Police Department and NSSF.
More than 5.3 million weekly media impressions will be delivered via billboards around Pittsburgh while more than 1,500 30-second radio spots will air weekly on local stations. Pittsburgh 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.
“Straw purchasers are a source of illegal guns for dangerous people who commit dangerous crimes,” said ATF Special Agent in Charge Sam Rabadi. “ATF, in our partnership with the NSSF, is committed to preventing the diversion of firearms to criminals. If you straw purchase a firearm you are committing a crime, exposing yourself to arrest and a possible 10 year long sentence in federal prison.”
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 Pittsburgh area billboard locations are provided below:
- Campbells Run Road
- 62nd St Bridge at Butler Street
- I-376 West at Carnegie
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, visit www.nssf.org.
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