New gun lock law locks up sales of some firearms
If you go to your favorite sporting goods store, you can look at a new, lever-action, .30-.30 rifle.
You can even buy it.
But you can’t walk out the door with it. Probably not until February.
That’s because a new state law took effect Jan. 1 which says – with a few exceptions – gun dealers can’t let customers carry a gun out of the store unless it’s equipped with a state-approved gun lock or lock box.
But these aren’t yet available for lever-action rifles, double-barreled shotguns, or breaking action guns, said Hallye Jordan, press secretary for state Attorney General Bill Lockyear, who oversees the Department of Justice’s Firearms Division.
The Firearms Division has approved certain makes of locks for those kinds of guns. But stores can’t get them yet, she said.
“They’ve been manufactured. They just haven’t gotten here, yet,” Hallye said. “They expect them by February.”
Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is sponsoring emergency legislation to delay implementation of the new law for long guns for which no locks are available, according an information bulletin on the department’s Web site.
Not all gun sales are held up by the new law, according to Hallye. While “there is a small percentage of long guns for which there are not safety devices available,” she said, “there are more than 8,000 models that have locks which have been certified.”
Grass Valley Kmart isn’t allowing any guns to leave the store this month, said sporting goods employee Lee Klassy.
“No. Not for the month of January. ‘Cause, I guess the state has mandated a new locking system for them but they haven’t come in yet,” Klassy said.
Some customers are upset because they’re not able to buy a gun, Klassy said.
Ditto for The Range, a gun shop and shooting range in the industrial park on Loma Rica Drive near Nevada County’s airport.
“No firearms can be sold without a state-approved lock,” said Range employee Jason Santa.
“We, at this point, don’t know what is approved by the state. It’s kind of frustrating,” Santa said Wednesday.
But Hallye said the Attorney General’s office has a list of state-approved gun locks and lock boxes on its Web site.
(The Web site address is
You can scroll down the list and find your model of gun and see which kind of state-approved lock or lock box will work with it.
Or, a gun buyer can avoid the new gun lock requirement by signing an affidavit stating they’ve got a gun safe that meets Department of Justice specifications.
For information about the new, state law which says no firearm can be sold unless it’s got a state-approved gun lock or lock box, call the Firearms Division of the Department of Justice at (916) 227-3703. Or check the department’s Web site at
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.