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GREATER CHICAGO CAMPAIGN TARGETS ILLEGAL GUN PURCHASES

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Des Plaines, Ill. — As part of an ongoing national effort to help prevent illegal “straw” purchases of firearms, the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are reminding the Greater Chicago area public that stiff penalties are in place for individuals convicted of such unlawful purchases. The campaign is in its 21st 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 press conference program at Maxon Shooters Supplies and Indoor Range in Des Plaines, Ill. Present at the event were representatives of the ATF Chicago Field Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana and NSSF.

The Chicago area “Don’t Lie” includes more than 33 outdoor billboards, digital bulletin boards and posters. There are also more than 150 radio spots playing and more than 2 million digital streaming radio service impressions. On social media, “Don’t Lie” advertisements total nearly 2.5 million targeted geo-fenced online mobile advertisements and almost 1 million Facebook and Instagram impressions. Chicago was chosen for this special campaign by ATF. No taxpayer dollars are used. The program is funded in full by the firearm industry.

“The firearm industry has always been focused on keeping firearms out of the hands of those who should not possess them. We are proud of our more than two-decade cooperative relationship with the ATF, the DOJ and the entire law enforcement community to assist them in their collective efforts to reduce criminal acquisition and misuse of firearms,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO.

“Don’t Lie” is a cooperative program between ATF, DOJ and NSSF, the trade association for the firearm 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 themself. The program also helps ATF educate firearm 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 System or NICS check and fully comply with all state and local laws. When a criminal knows he or she cannot pass this check, they may try to induce a friend or other person to make the purchase on their behalf. This 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 firearm 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 store owners and staff, as well as point-of-purchase displays aimed to deter illegal straw purchases.

Article by NSSF

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