ATF, U.S. Attorney, Arizona Attorney General and Firearms Industry Join Forces

ATF, U.S. Attorney, Arizona Attorney General and Firearms Industry Join Forces
Join Forces to Stop Illegal Purchases of Firearms in Tucson.

“Buy a gun for someone who can’t and buy yourself 10 years in jail.”


Tucson, Ariz., – -( The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, Arizona Attorney General, and representatives from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for the firearms industry – today announced a major campaign to reduce significantly the illegal straw purchases of firearms in Tucson.

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 transaction. 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.

Special Agent in Charge William Newell of the ATF Phoenix Field Division said, “As the agency responsible for oversight of the federal firearms laws, ATF is fully committed to our partnership with NSSF to aggressively address the illegal purchase of firearms by individuals who in many instances are pawns

“Through this program we are educating the federal firearms licensees, who are valuable ATF partners in preventing the illegal straw purchase of firearms, as well as those would-be straw purchasers, that this is a serious federal offense and that their illegal actions could be fueling a dangerous gang or drug war.”

“When a person is asked to buy a gun for someone else, they must understand that they are being asked to commit a federal felony,” said John J. Tuchi, Interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. “That illegal buyer is responsible for arming felons, drug traffickers, and gang members. This District will not tolerate these straw purchasers.”

Residents and visitors to Tucson will see Don’t Lie for the Other Guy billboards and posters throughout the city 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’ campaign is a valuable public safety partnership between law enforcement and the firearms industry,” said Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. “Lying for somebody else to acquire a gun is a serious crime, and perpetrators will be caught and prosecuted. Lives will be saved, especially law enforcement officers, when we aggressively enforce these rules.”

NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane said, “This program has been welcomed by firearms retailers 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 for joining with members of our industry in this cooperative effort.”

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 the greater Tucson area and distributing Don’t Lie retailer education 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.

Don’t Lie for the Other Guy is a joint program of ATF and the NSSF. Funding for the program comes from a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

ATF – Is a unique law enforcement agency in the United States Department of Justice that protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, the illegal use and trafficking of firearms, the illegal use and storage of explosives, acts of arson and bombings, acts of terrorism, and the illegal diversion of alcohol and tobacco products.

We partner with communities, industries, law enforcement and public safety agencies to safeguard the public we serve through information sharing, training, research, and use of technology.