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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Washington, DC 20226

April 21, 2006

Open Letter to Federal Firearms Licensees
Child Safety Lock Act of 2005

This serves to notify you that Public Law 109-92 (119 Stat. 2095), the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, was enacted October 26, 2005. Section 5 of Public Law 109-92, cited as the Child Safety Lock Act of 2005 (CSLA), amended the Gun Control Act by adding Section 922(z) to 18 U.S.C. This new section makes it generally unlawful for “any licensed importer, manufacturer, or dealer to sell, deliver, or transfer any handgun to any person, other than another licensee, unless the transferee (buyer) is provided with a secure gun storage or safety device for that handgun.” The statute provides that it becomes effective on April 24, 2006. ATF has prepared the regulation that will implement this statute. At this time, the regulation is pending approval by the Department of Justice and the Office of Management and Budget. The review process most likely will take several more months. Once the regulation is approved, ATF will publish an Interim Rule in the Federal Register regarding the new law. While the Interim Rule will not be published by April 24th, the requirement to “provide” a safety device with the transfer of any handgun is mandated beginning on that date pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(z). Accordingly, licensees must make the necessary arrangements to provide secure gun storage or safety devices with the transfer of handguns from the April 24th effective date.

As enacted, the law does not require safety devices to be provided where the handgun transfer is between FFLs. The law also provides for additional exceptions. ATF will issue an Open Letter once the Interim Rule is published. “Questions and Answers” regarding the CSLA will be posted on our Web site at clarifying certain points of the legislation. We look forward to industry members’ questions and comments. For additional information, please contact the Firearms Programs Division at (202) 927-7770.

Signature of Audrey Stucko

Audrey Stucko
Deputy Assistant Director
Enforcement Programs and Aervices