On January 3, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would be finalizing a new rule on firearm storage for Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs). The DOJ additionally announced an update to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATFs) “Best Practices” Guide for FFLs.
The new storage rule, which was first proposed by the Obama Administration in 2016, makes four substantial changes to federal firearms law.
First, the rule updates the regulatory definitions of “rifle,” “shotgun,” and “antique firearm” to match statutory changes that took effect in 1998.
Second, the rule defines “secure gun storage or safety device,” which generally tracks the existing statutory definition, but also includes a requirement that the secure gun storage or safety device be compatible with the firearms offered for sale by the licensee.
Third, the rule adopts ATF’s existing practice of requiring firearm dealers to certify that secure gun storage or safety devices are available at any location where firearms are sold to non-licensees.
Fourth, the rule extends the certification requirement to manufacturers and importers when they sell a firearms to non-licensees.
The rule will take effect on February 3, 2022. FFLs that engage in transactions with non-licensees should ensure that they have suitable locks or safes available for any firearms that they sell.
While the storage rule may not seem like a substantial change to federal firearms law, the Biden Administration has already proposed two other rules that would make drastic changes to federal law. As NRA-ILA has covered before, the administration has proposed a new rule to effectively ban pistol stabilizing braces and another rule that drastically alters key definitions in federal law.
The regulations pages for these proposed rules now indicate that the “frame or receiver” rule will be finalized in June while the stabilizing brace rule will be finalized in August. These dates may not reflect when the rules are actually finalized, so please check back regularly to www.nraila.org for updates on these terrible rules.