"Don't lie for the other guy"

 

Sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona, and the Arizona Attorney General's Office, a new campaign aims to slow the flow of guns bought in Arizona and smuggled into Mexico.

"Don't lie for the other guy" is currently emblazoned on 92 Tucson billboards and repeated through public service announcements in Spanish and English, reminding people that buying guns and then selling them to someone buying for drug cartels is a federal felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Of the guns recovered in Mexican crimes that have been traced in the past three years, more than 90 percent came from the United States, according to the ATF -- most from Texas and Arizona.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is a trade association for the firearms industry, and it's spending $500,000 to roll out the "Don't lie for the other guy" campaign in the border states this summer. Since the "Don't lie" program began in 2000, the NSSF has provided nearly half of the $4.3 million it has cost, with the Department of Justice providing the rest. The NSSF has also worked with the ATF to help gun dealers detect "straw-man buyers."

"We don't want the industry or the dealers to get a black eye or be perceived as the problem here. In fact, the dealers are part of the solution. Dealers are very receptive to the program. They don't want to be associated with a gun that was used to kill somebody," Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the NSSF, told the Arizona Daily Star.

According to the ATF, there are 7,300 licensed retail gun dealers and pawn brokers operating in the Southwest border region.