ATF campaign to reduce straw purchasing of guns that wind up in Chicago relies on targeted ads

Chicago, creates some of the most strong gun laws in the nation, when they don’t work, blame those who legally can buy firearms, spend even more money paying social media companies already banning firearms owners to run 2.5 million ads, then claim success. Is anyone paying attention? How about we abolish the ATF, abolish unconstitutional gun laws, arm the citizens, put half of that money into training. No?

Federal authorities joined a firearms trade association at a suburban gun store Wednesday to call attention to a media campaign intended to head off straw purchases of firearms that wind up on the streets of Chicago and used in crimes.

Leaders of the effort said the long-running campaign to deter straw purchasing of guns is now relying more heavily on targeted social media advertising.

Joseph Bartozzi, president and CEO of the National Shooting Sports Foundation that funds the “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” campaign, said the campaign this year is using geographically targeted advertising more than ever in its 21-year history.

The campaign plans to run about 2.5 million digital ads including targeted mobile ads and almost 1 million ads on Facebook and Instagram, Bartozzi said in a news conference in Des Plaines on Wednesday.

Bartozzi, whose group lobbies lawmakers on gun issues, was joined by leaders of the Chicago office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago.

John Lausch , U.S. attorney in Chicago, said straw purchasing leads to shootings and homicides across the country and in the Chicago area.

“We see each and every day the tragedies that happen when people shoot other people,” he said. “And oftentimes it’s people who shouldn’t have had that gun in the first place.”

The goal of the campaign is to remind people of the legal consequences of buying guns on behalf of those who can’t — up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine — and to educate gun shop owners on how to prevent such purchases.

The foundation raises money from donors for the campaign and works with law enforcement and the ATF. To date, the foundation has distributed more than 95,000 safety kits through the program containing educational information, links and online resources about how to detect and prevent straw purchasing of guns.

Bartozzi said the campaign has been successful.

“We meet with ATF on this and other programs we have with them collaboratively with them and they give us the information that it’s their belief based on evidence that the education program that ‘Don’t Lie’ brings to the table does deter straw purchasing,” he said. “And that’s really what we’re here to do.”

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