Editor’s note: This just in from the National Shooting Sports Foundation:
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, lock box or other 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 the 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), that 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.