ATF and NSSF Announce “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” Campaign In New Jersey

ATF and NSSF Announce “Don't Lie for the Other Guy” Campaign In New Jersey

National Shooting Sports Foundation
National Shooting Sports Foundation

Newark, New Jersey —-( The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and representatives from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for the firearms industry – have jointly announced a major campaign to reduce significantly the illegal straw purchases of firearms in New Jersey.

The program, called “Don't Lie for the Other Guy,” was developed to raise public awareness that it is a serious crime to purchase a firearm for someone who cannot legally do so or for someone who does not otherwise want his or her name associated with the purchase. The program is also designed to educate firearms dealers on how to better detect and deter potential straw purchases. The campaign, which has been enhanced to better focus on the purchasers, drives home the message that anyone attempting an illegal firearm purchase faces a stiff federal penalty: Buy a gun for someone who can't and buy yourself 10 years in jail.

“ATF views firearms trafficking as a major threat to the security of the citizens of New Jersey,” said Matthew Horace, Special Agent in Charge for the Newark Field Division. “These firearms often end up in the hands of gang members, drug organizations, and other violent criminals.” Horace said, “New Jersey presents unique challenges in that hundreds of firearms are straw purchased in other states that are ultimately used to commit crimes on our streets. This collaborative partnership and proactive initiative sets the record straight. If you illegally purchase firearms, traffic them, and sell them on our streets in the State of New Jersey, ATF will investigate you, prosecute you, and you will go to jail.”

NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane said, “This program has been welcomed by firearms dealers as a valuable educational tool to better enable them to spot would-be straw purchasers and prevent illegal straw purchases. Our goal in reaching out to the public is to warn them that they would be committing a serious crime by attempting to purchase a firearm for someone who cannot legally possess one. We applaud and appreciate the support of the ATF and the United States Attorney for joining with members of our industry in this cooperative effort.”

Residents and visitors to Newark, Trenton and Camden will see Don't Lie for the Other Guy billboards, posters and transit signs, and will hear the campaign's strong message via radio and television public service announcements (PSA). Outdoor media signs will be displayed anywhere from four weeks to several months, and the PSA will be played for the next month.

The Don't Lie for the Other Guy program is a vital component of ATF's outreach efforts to educate firearms dealers and their employees on how to better recognize and deter the illegal purchase of firearms through straw purchases. This program is an important tool for ATF to accomplish its mission of reducing violent crime and protecting the public. The campaign is reaching out to firearms retailers in New Jersey and distributing Don't Lie retailer kits. Each kit contains a training video and brochure for the storeowner and staff as well as point-of-purchase displays aimed to deter this illegal activity.

“Given the already stringent firearms laws in New Jersey it is virtually impossible for someone to straw purchase a firearm in the garden state,” continued Keane. “However, we want to ensure that visitors to New Jersey and those residents who would consider straw purchasing a firearm out of state think twice about the serious penalties associated with illegally straw purchasing a firearm.”

Don't Lie for the Other Guy is a joint program of ATF, NSSF and the U.S. Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods. Funding for the program comes from a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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