St. Louis Metro Rejects Anti-Straw Purchase Education Campaign

Public Transet Bus iStock-513821952
IMG iStock-513821952

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Metro Transit has rejected a public awareness advertising campaign to remind the public it is illegal to lie on a firearm background check verification form to purchase a gun for someone who cannot legally do so on their own.

As part of the firearm industry’s ongoing national effort to help prevent illegal “straw” purchases of firearms, NSSF – The Firearm Industry Trade Association – purchased billboard, radio, streaming radio service, and online digital advertisements for the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program in key locations throughout the greater St. Louis region with the message: “Buy a gun for someone who can’t and buy yourself 15 years in jail. Whatever you do … Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.” The one-month campaign, funded entirely by the firearm industry, will total nearly 43 million gross media impressions.

“Don’t Lie” is a cooperative program between the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and NSSF.

Metro Transit buses were originally planned to be included as a significant portion of the campaign. ATF chose St. Louis for this special campaign.

“It is unfortunate St. Louis Metro Transit rejected our efforts to combat illegal straw purchases of firearms by refusing to place our ‘Don’t Lie’ posters on buses. There is nothing controversial about the ads. Everyone wants to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and people who should not have them,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Metro waited until the day before the “Don’t Lie” campaign began to inform us of their misguided decision. Crime has been surging in major cities, including in St. Louis, and data shows the firearm industry’s efforts to reduce criminal misuse of firearms has a real and positive impact making communities safer.”

The joint NSSF-ATF-DOJ “Don’t Lie” 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 public awareness campaign drives home the message that anyone attempting an illegal firearm purchase faces a stiff federal felony penalty of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, as well as an additional 15 years in prison if the straw purchase is made with the intent of trafficking across state lines. The “Don’t Lie” program also assists local firearm retailers by providing resources so they can be better educated and prepared to detect and deter potential illegal straw purchases.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

National Shooting Sports Foundation