New DOJ Rule Mandates FFL Holders Sell “Safe Storage” Items for Firearms

Faye Higbee
new doj rule
Screenshot file

A new DOJ rule that mandates FFL holders carry “safe storage” items for firearms was published on January 3, and goes into effect as of Feb 3, 2022.

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The Department of Justice has submitted to the Federal Register for publication a final rule, which will take effect Feb. 3, requiring FFLs to certify that they have secure gun storage devices available to their customers for purchase. Secure gun storage or safety device, as defined by statute and regulation, 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. Not all devices are compatible with varying types of firearms. Therefore, integral to the new rule is the requirement that FFLs have available secure gun storage options that are compatible with the firearms they are selling…

In addition, today, the ATF published a Best Practices Guide for FFLs. The ATF’s Best Practices Guide is designed to assist FFLs in complying with all required firearm laws and regulations that are designed to ensure public safety and the traceability of firearms.

The Best Practices Guide also encourages FFLs to provide customers with ATF publications to help firearms owners better understand their legal obligations, as well as practical steps they can take to help keep firearms out of the hands of prohibited persons and facilitate the safe storage of firearms. Links to ATF publications addressing the following topics are included in the Best Practices Guide: procedures for FFLs to assist unlicensed firearms owners in conducting background checks for private party transfers; compliance with the Youth Handgun Safety Act; records firearms owners should maintain that can assist law enforcement if the owner’s firearms are ever lost or stolen; and the legal consequences and public safety dangers of straw purchasing – which involves purchasing a gun for someone who is prohibited by law from possessing one or for someone who does not want his or her name associated with the transaction.


AG Garland is hot on the trail of anything he says can keep firearms out of “the wrong hands.” Except that this new DOJ rule does nothing of the kind.

In 2021, it is estimated that 18.5 million guns were sold in the United States (based on NICS background checks).

The number of checks processed through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is considered the best measure of gun sales in a given time period because all sales made through licensed dealers must include a check. However, they are not one-to-one representations of gun sales numbers for several reasons. For instance, most states do not require NICS checks during sales between non-licensed individuals on the used market. Additionally, 25 states allow buyers with certain permits, such as a concealed carry permit, to bypass the check because a check was required to obtain the permit in the first place.

The Reload

What all of that should tell us is that Americans are concerned about the Biden Administration coming after our 2nd amendment rights. The new “rule” just published by the DOJ that targets FFL holders is a case in point. The anti-gunners will use any excuses, any deceptive tactics to get at the right to keep and bear arms. So keep your ears and eyes open. It’s unclear how many people will choose to purchase said items unless there is a law requiring them in place.


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