DOJ Publishes Rule to Do What Gun Industry Already Does

By Larry Keane

Baldwin Shooting: A Calamity of Preventable Gun Safety Errors
The Biden administration this week tried to take a gun control victory lap, but stumbled badly over facts coming out of the starting blocks. IMG iStock-1249406015

U.S.A. -( The Biden administration this week tried to take a gun control victory lap, but stumbled badly over facts coming out of the starting blocks. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a press release ballyhooing the Department of Justice (DOJ) issuing a new rule telling firearm retailers they must provide secure firearm storage devices for sale to their customers.

It sounds good on paper, especially if someone is trying to make a political statement. That’s all it is, however. Attorney-General Garland might have been better off issuing a press release stating the DOJ affirms the good work the firearm industry has been doing on its own for years when it comes to safe firearm storage.

The only thing new about this is that an anti-gun presidential administration is attempting to take credit for what is already being done.

Still the Same

The DOJ published their press release announcing the new rule for the New Year, along with a Best Practices Guide for federal firearms licensees (FFLs). The rule says it codifies a Gun Control Act provision that requires all firearm retailers to certify that they do, in fact, offer some sort of secure storage option for sale at the same location from which firearms are sold. That includes a safe, gun safe, gun case, lockbox, or another device that is designed to be or can be used to store a firearm and that is designed to be unlocked only by means of a key, a combination or other similar means.

NSSF notes, however, that firearm retailers have already been doing this. Firearm retailers have had to certify to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) when they apply or reapply for their federal firearm license that they make secure storage devices available for sale. This rule handed down by Attorney General Garland only implements what’s already being done. This is nothing new or earth-shattering, despite what the Biden administration would have you think.

Firearm retailers didn’t need a law or a rule to sell secure storage devices. It’s good business. Firearm retailers offer safety products because customers want them and need them. The same goes with safety training. The new rule wasn’t needed.

If anything, this is a tip of the cap to the work NSSF has been doing to for decades to promote safe firearm storage. Since 1997, firearm manufacturers have been voluntarily providing free locking devices with each new firearm they ship from their factory. That’s a lock in the box of every new gun. Some manufacturers had already been providing free locks for decades.

Beyond all that, there’s already a law that requires what firearm retailers have been doing. The bipartisan Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which President Joe Biden wants so desperately to scrap, includes a provision called the “Child Safety Lock Act of 2005.” That portion of the law requires firearm retailers to provide a safety locking device with each handgun they transfer.

Industry Leading

None of that includes the voluntary programs spearheaded by the firearm industry to ensure all firearms not in use are securely stored. The firearm industry’s Project ChildSafe is one of the foundational components of Real Solutions. Safer Communities campaign to promote voluntary efforts that provide effective answers to firearm ownership concerns. The firearm industry openly advocates that every firearm not in use should be stored securely and out of the reach of individuals who should never possess them. That includes all unauthorized users, from unsupervised children to prohibited individuals to those who might be suffering through a mental health crisis. This has been especially important as millions have become first-time gun owners over the past two years.

Project ChildSafe partners with 15,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and five U.S. territories and has distributed over 40 million free firearm safety kits, which include a locking device. When properly installed, these locking devices render a firearm inoperable and prevent an unauthorized person from the consequences of negligence. This program isn’t novel, but it is lifesaving. It has been recognized by the Government Accountability Office and the National Safety Council’s Green Cross Awards for its efficacy. The free gun locks and safety kits program was expanded to include the Department of Veterans Affairs in conjunction with another Real Solutions component of suicide prevention. Even President Biden, when he was vice president, told NSSF we were “doing good things” with Project ChildSafe.

Education and Options

The secure storage campaign doesn’t focus on mandates or requirements, but education about the best safe storage options for gun owners throughout their lives. The storage options for a single adult living alone are much different than they are for a married couple with children. Even as children grow and families change, safe firearm storage options change too.  Some individuals might opt for the cable-style locking device or a trigger lock accessed by a key. Others might be better served with an electronic lockbox or RFID-equipped small safe. Traditional large upright safes might be a better option for others. Each firearm owner should periodically assess their own firearm storage needs and adjust as lifestyles change.

The firearm industry has been at the leading edge of this education process. Many firearm retailers will explain the different options and help customers choose the secure storage options that work best for them. Firearm manufacturers provide a locking device in every firearm sold at retail. Combined with those distributed through Project ChildSafe, which tops over 100 million free locking devices distributed in the past 20 years. Many retailers keep these same locks on hand to distribute to customers that may need extra.

These voluntary efforts to promote safe storage of firearms in the home have been a bedrock of the work the firearm industry does to promote safe and responsible gun ownership. The DOJ Final Rule doesn’t do anything new and it doesn’t change the work the firearm industry will continue to do to be a leader in this effort.

This Final Rule isn’t new. It’s a way of the Biden administration of saying they endorse the work already being done by the gun industry, without having to actually say it.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

National Shooting Sports Foundation

3 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

ooh, ooh, look at what i have done!! seems like they are trying to convince themselves that they are doing something good. if that is the case, too little, too late. they have done so many bad things that it’s going to take some time.


As John Cleese once shouted at the “Brandon” Administration from a castle wall:
” I FAA-RRT in your general dii-rection !! “


Under proposed regulation, would FFL risk their license if they ever sold out of lockboxes? I can see retailers holding some back off the shelves, and increasing prices dramatically as inventory runs low. Customer asks to buy box – seller says “I can sell you this box for $1000, or take an order for another for $20 once new inventory comes in.” In the end, I could see this law reducing available safety devices and how many are used by end-users. As Jim says, retailers are already providing options – driven by our old friend “market forces”. Recent democrat laws,… Read more »


After the law or rule is already introduced and implemented GLORY HUNTERS. They go for the ‘WE’ DID IT factor to give the Dems a chest thump. Very typical for the current D.O.J.


Demon Rats! Always a day late and a dollar short. As well as being lying sacks of Bull Crap!


I have a pile of gun locks if anyone needs some . I use one on my gate to keep people from letting my dog loose when I am gone . There are uses for them , just not on a gun at my house . I would hate to have ask a criminal to wait while I unlock my weapon . Criminals are usually in a hurry and don’t wait till the firearm is unlocked . It’s called self preservation !

Wild Bill

I have a whole stack of them. If they all used the same key, maybe I could uses the locks on unimportant stuff around the place. Maybe I’ll put one on the refrigerator.


I have a .50 Caliper ammo box full and starting a second one, I wouldn’t mind using them if I could get them keyed alike, hard to find a key on a key ring of 50 or more keys!!!!!


The uneducated antigunners have introduced ” new” gun control laws that duplicate long term laws that passed years/ decades before.
It is too much trouble to read a l rebook before a political statement, I guess.

Wild Bill

Yep, that is what happens when our enemies are unwilling to listen or read for themselves.


I didn’t get a lock with my recent Sig purchase, contrary to the story that all manufacturers provide them in their cases. Fine by me, as I throw them out so as not to waste space, or use them for securing less valuable items. As for the “rule”, it is yet another unconstitutional infringement and attempt to make ffl’s lives more burdernsome, just like requirements for ffl security of site and firearms is designed to make being a dealer costly and frustrating. Dealers will protect their inventory as they see fit, and better than a government pencil pusher can devise,… Read more »


You didn’t ask for a lock??? Some work on bikes and toolbockes too


My wife has a booth at the local flea market where I sell all mine. Gets a few bucks to buy more ammo.


was at a gun show years ago, police were giving them out for safety, asked me if I had handguns, told him about how many, he counted out and handed me that number, said he didn’t want to carry them anymore, that was the start of my collection of Gunlocks found different uses, but not on my guns!!!!!!