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Press Release

Memphis Campaign Targets Illegal Gun Purchases

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Tennessee

NSSF, ATF, U.S. Attorney, Area Law Enforcement Emphasize ‘Don't Lie for the Other Guy’

Memphis Campaign Targets Illegal Gun Purchases

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — 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 U.S. Attorney’s Office, Western District of Tennessee, are reminding the public in the Memphis area that stiff penalties are in place for individuals convicted of such purchases.

Billboard 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 September 18, 2018, with a short program at the Bass Pro Shops, 1 Bass Pro Dr., Memphis, Tenn. Present at the event were representatives of the ATF Nashville Field Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee, Shelby County Attorney’s Office, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the City of Memphis, Memphis Police Department and NSSF.

More than 22.5 million impressions will be delivered via billboards, digital and social media advertising around Memphis along with more than a half a million impressions through 30-second radio spots airing on local stations. Memphis was chosen for this special campaign by ATF. No taxpayer dollars are used. The program is funded in full by the firearms industry.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said, "As part of our violent crime reduction strategy, the U.S. Attorney’s Office seeks to keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited and dangerous persons, and to remove violent offenders from our streets. We thank and commend the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the ATF for their shared crime prevention efforts to warn people about the consequences of providing firearms to prohibited persons such as convicted felons. Don’t Lie for the Other Guy, or you will be facing up to 10 years in federal prison."

"As evidenced, 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 programbetween ATF and NSSF, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry. The effort was developed more than a decade 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 dealers so they can 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.

Some of the Memphis area billboard locations and radio stations airing public service announcements are provided below:


• Several locations along I-240
• Several locations along I-40
• Several locations along I-55

Radio Stations:

• KJMS (V101)
• KWNW (101.9 KISS FM)
• WHRK (K97.1)
• WMC 790 AM
• WREC 600 AM.

Learn more about Don't Lie for the Other Guy at

About NSSF

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to

Updated September 19, 2018