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Richmond Campaign Targets Illegal Gun Purchases

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

Richmond Campaign Targets Illegal Gun Purchases
(Photo courtesy of NSSF)

RICHMOND, Va. — 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 Richmond public that stiff penalties are in place for individuals convicted of such unlawful purchases. The campaign is in its’ 20th year and is a cornerstone of the cooperative relationship of the firearm industry, law enforcement and retailers.

Billboard, radio, streaming audio and digital 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 Colonial Shooting Academy, in Richmond, Va. Present at the event were representatives of the ATF Washington, D.C. Field Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Easter District of Virginia and NSSF.

More than 3.2 million impressions will be delivered via billboards, digital, and social media advertising and 30-second radio spots airing on local stations and streaming audio services. Richmond 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 two decades 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 retailers to 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.


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