NEW ORLEANS, Aug. 17, 2004 Legal news, law news, law firm news & research at LAWFUELLouisiana’s three U. S. Attorneys,
Donald Washington (Lafayette), David Dugas (Baton Rouge) and Jim Letten (New
Orleans), today announced a major campaign to significantly reduce illegal
“straw purchases” of firearms in the State of Louisiana. The program, called
“Don’t Lie for the Other Guy,” is designed to educate firearms retailers on
how to detect and deter potential straw purchases and to raise public
awareness that it is a serious crime to purchase a firearm for someone who
cannot legally do so.
The campaign drives home the message that anyone attempting to buy an
illegal firearm faces a stiff federal penalty: “Purchase a gun for someone who
can’t and buy yourself 10 years in jail.”
“Those who purchase firearms for those who are prohibited from possessing
firearms are fueling violent crimes affecting our families and neighbors. We
are firmly committed to investigating, prosecuting, and incarcerating those
who purchase firearms on behalf of those who cannot and should not lawfully
possess a firearm,” said Donald Washington, United States Attorney for the
Western District of Louisiana.
“Our goal is to keep guns out of the hands of criminals by preventing
“straw purchases” and illegal sales of guns. We welcome the support of NSSF
in this campaign to educate the public about the consequences of illegal gun
purchases,” said David Dugas, United States Attorney for the Middle District
“Since the very inception of Project Safe Neighborhoods, The United States
Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, together with our
partners in federal and local law enforcement, have aggressively investigated
and prosecuted any and all violators of federal firearms laws, in order to
ensure to every extent humanly possible, that we significantly cut off the
supply of firearms to those individuals whom the law prohibits from legally
possessing them. I personally feel that this is a significant contribution to
the Department’s efforts to reduce firearms-related crimes. We will therefore
continue enthusiastically to enforce these important federal laws by making
the public aware that even attempting to purchase a firearm for a prohibited
individual could very well result in a stiff federal prison sentence,” said
Jim Letten, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
“Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” is a joint program of the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the U.S. Department of Justice’s
Project Safe Neighborhoods program (PSN) and the National Shooting Sports
Foundation (NSSF). The program was developed four years ago to aid firearm
retailers in recognizing potential illegal firearm purchases and thereby to
deter those purchases. The program has now expanded to include a public
awareness component to help raise public awareness that straw purchases are a
“Through the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy program we are stopping illegal
firearms purchases nationwide,” said ATF Director Carl J. Truscott. “ATF is
pleased to be working in collaboration with the firearms industry to keep
firearms out of the hands of prohibited individuals and criminals.”
“Don’t Lie for the Other Guy has been welcomed by firearm retailers as a
valuable educational tool to help them spot would-be straw purchasers and
prevent illegal firearm sales,” said Doug Painter, president of NSSF, the
non-profit trade association for the firearms industry. “Our goal in reaching
out to the consumer is to let them know they are 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 United States Attorneys, the
ATF and local media for stepping up to lead this effort,” Painter added.
The campaign will visit virtually every federally licensed firearm
retailer in Louisiana to distribute Don’t Lie retailer kits that were
developed to aid retailers in detecting and deterring straw purchases. Each
kit contains a video and informational brochure to educate storeowners and
their staff on how to spot a straw purchase, as well as point-of-purchase
merchandise displays aimed to raise awareness and deter this illegal activity.
Louisiana media organizations will provide public service announcements
and editorial support. U. S. Attorneys Letten, Dugas and Washington will serve
as spokesmen in television and radio public service announcements that deliver
the “Don’t Lie” message.
The NSSF will provide funding for program administration, media outreach
and ongoing firearm retailer education. ATF will continue to work with
retailers in their efforts to identify and deter straw purchases.
To learn more about the program, visit http://www.dontlie.org .
U.S. Attorney Contact Information:
– To contact U.S. Attorney Jim Letten, please call Kathy English at
– To contact U.S. Attorney David Dugas, please call First Assistant U.S.
Attorney, Lyman Thorton III, at 225-389-0443.
– To contact U.S. Attorney Donald Washington, contact him directly at
337-262-6618 or First Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Flanagan at
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives
Web Site: http://www.atf.gov http://www.dontlie.org