[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 102 (Thursday, May 26, 2016)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 33448-33453]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-12364]


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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives

27 CFR Part 478

[Docket No. ATF 24P; AG Order No. 3672-2016]
RIN 1140-AA10


Commerce in Firearms and Explosives; Secure Gun Storage, Amended 
Definition of Antique Firearm, and Miscellaneous Amendments

AGENCY: Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), 
Department of Justice.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Justice (DOJ) proposes amending the 
regulations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives 
(ATF), largely to codify into regulation certain provisions of Public 
Law 105-277, Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental 
Appropriations Act, 1999. The proposed rule would amend ATF's 
regulations to account for the existing statutory requirement for 
applicants for firearms dealer licenses to certify that secure gun 
storage or safety devices will be available at any place where firearms 
are sold under the license to nonlicensed individuals. This 
certification is already included in the ATF Form 7, Application for 
Federal Firearms License. The proposed regulation would also require 
applicants for manufacturer or importer licenses to complete the 
certification if the licensee will have premises where firearms are 
sold to nonlicensees. Moreover, the proposed regulation would require 
that the secure gun storage or safety device be compatible with the 
firearms offered for sale by the licensee. Finally, it also would 
conform the definitions of certain terms to the statutory language set 
forth in the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental 
Appropriations Act of 1999, including the definition of ``antique 
firearm,'' which would be amended to include certain modern muzzle 
loading firearms.

DATES: Written comments must be postmarked and electronic comments must 
be submitted on or before August

[[Page 33449]]

24, 2016. Commenters should be aware that the electronic Federal Docket 
Management System will not accept comments after Midnight Eastern Time 
on the last day of the comment period.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to any of the following addresses--
     George M. Fodor, Mailstop 6.N-523, Office of Regulatory 
Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, 
Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York 
Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20226; ATTN: ATF 24P. Written comments may 
be of any length and must appear in a minimum 12-point type (.17 
inches), include a complete mailing address, and be signed.
     202-648-9741 (facsimile).
     http://www.regulations.gov. Federal eRulemaking portal; 
follow the instructions for submitting comments.
    You may also view an electronic version of this proposed rule at 
the http://www.regulations.gov site.
    See the Public Participation section at the end of the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for instructions and requirements for 
submitting comments, and for information on how to request a public 
hearing.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George M. Fodor, Office of Regulatory 
Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, 
Firearms, and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, 99 New York 
Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20226, telephone (202) 648-7070.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    On October 21, 1998, Public Law 105-277 (112 Stat. 2681), the 
Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 
1999 (the Act), was enacted. Among other things, the Act amended the 
Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), as amended (18 U.S.C. Chapter 44). Some 
of the GCA amendments made by the Act and the proposed regulation 
changes implementing the law are as follows\1\:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ This proposed rule does not implement the Child Safety Lock 
Act of 2005 (CSLA), enacted as part of Public Law 109-92 (119 Stat. 
2095), the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act. The CSLA 
amended the GCA by adding a new subsection, 18 U.S.C. 922(z), that 
makes it unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, 
or licensed dealer to sell, deliver, or transfer any handgun to any 
person not licensed under 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44, unless the 
transferee (buyer) is provided with a secure gun storage or safety 
device for that handgun. A number of exceptions are provided to this 
requirement, including transfers of handguns to law enforcement 
agencies and law enforcement officers and transfers of handguns 
classified as curios or relics.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (1) Secure Gun Storage. The Act amended subsection 923(d)(1) of the 
GCA (18 U.S.C. 923(d)(1)) to require that, with certain exceptions, 
applicants for firearm dealer licenses certify the availability of 
secure gun storage or safety devices at any place where firearms are 
sold under the license to nonlicensees. 18 U.S.C. 923(d)(1)(G). ATF 
interprets this provision as requiring secure gun storage or safety 
devices to be compatible with the firearms offered for sale by the 
licensee. Therefore, applicants are required to certify the 
availability of compatible secure gun storage or safety devices at any 
place where firearms are sold under the license to nonlicensees. The 
certification requirement does not apply where a secure gun storage or 
safety device is temporarily unavailable because of theft, casualty 
loss, consumer sales, backorders from a manufacturer, or any other 
similar reason beyond the control of the licensee. Id. The Department 
proposes to add a new section 27 CFR 478.104 to specify the terms of 
the certification requirement.
    ATF interprets the certification requirement to apply to applicants 
for importer or manufacturer licenses if the licensee will have 
premises where firearms are sold to nonlicensees. Federal regulations 
provide that a licensed importer or a licensed manufacturer may engage 
in the business on the licensed premises as a dealer in the same type 
of firearms authorized by the license to be imported or manufactured. 
27 CFR 478.41(b). As such, an applicant for an importer or manufacturer 
license who will be engaged in the business as a dealer and have 
premises where firearms are sold to nonlicensees will be required to 
complete the certification.
    In addition, the Act amended subsection 923(e) of the GCA (18 
U.S.C. 923(e)) to provide that the Attorney General may revoke the 
license of any federal firearms licensee who fails to have secure gun 
storage or safety devices available at any place where firearms are 
sold under the license to nonlicensees, subject to the same exceptions 
noted above. The Department proposes to amend 27 CFR 478.73 to codify 
into regulation this provision of the law.
    The Act defined the term ``secure gun storage or safety device'' in 
18 U.S.C. 921(a)(34) to mean: (1) A device that, when installed on a 
firearm, is designed to prevent the firearm from being operated without 
first deactivating the device; (2) a device incorporated into the 
design of the firearm that is designed to prevent the operation of the 
firearm by anyone not having access to the device; or (3) 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. The Department 
proposes to amend 27 CFR 478.11 by adding a definition for the term 
``secure gun storage or safety device'' that tracks the language in the 
statute.
    An uncodified provision of the Act provides that 
``[n]otwithstanding any other provision of law, evidence regarding 
compliance or noncompliance [with the secure gun storage or safety 
device requirement] shall not be admissible as evidence in any 
proceeding of any court, agency, board, or other entity.'' Public Law 
105-277 sec. 119, reprinted in 18 U.S.C. 923 note. ATF construes this 
section as applying to civil liability actions against dealers and 
other similar actions, and not to proceedings associated with license 
denials or revocations (or appeals in federal court from decisions in 
such proceedings) involving noncompliance with the secure gun storage 
or safety device requirement of the GCA. A basic tenet of statutory 
construction is that each provision in a law is intended to have some 
effect. To interpret this provision as applying to license denial and 
revocation proceedings would result in the amendments to sections 
923(d)(1) and (e) having no effective enforcement mechanism. To give 
meaning to the secure gun storage or safety device requirement and the 
authorization for the revocation of a license if the federal firearm 
licensee fails to have secure gun storage or safety devices available, 
ATF reads this evidentiary limitation as not applying to license denial 
and revocation proceedings.
    The provisions of the Act relating to secure gun storage became 
effective April 19, 1999.
    (2) Definition of Antique Firearm. The Act also amended the 
definition of ``antique firearm'' in the GCA to include certain modern 
muzzle loading firearms. Specifically, section 115 of the Act amended 
the definition of ``antique firearm'' in subsection 921(a)(16) to 
include a weapon that is a muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading 
shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol; that is designed to use black powder 
or a black powder substitute; and that cannot use fixed ammunition. The 
term expressly does not include any weapon that incorporates a firearm 
frame or receiver; any firearm converted into a muzzle-loading weapon; 
or any muzzle-loading weapon that can be readily converted to fire 
fixed ammunition by replacing the

[[Page 33450]]

barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof. See 18 U.S.C. 
921(a)(16)(C).
    The provisions of the Act relating to antique firearms became 
effective upon the date of enactment, October 21, 1998.
    The Department proposes to amend 27 CFR 478.11 to reflect the 
definition of the term ``antique firearm'' set forth in the Act.
    (3) Miscellaneous Amendments. Prior to amendment by the Act, the 
term ``rifle'' was defined in the GCA to mean ``a weapon designed or 
redesigned, made or remade, and intended to be fired from the shoulder 
and designed or redesigned and made or remade to use the energy of the 
explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge to fire only a single 
projectile through a rifled bore for each single pull of the trigger.'' 
18 U.S.C. 921(a)(7) (1994). The Act amended the definition of ``rifle'' 
by replacing the words ``the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge'' 
with ``an explosive.''
    Prior to amendment by the Act, the term ``shotgun'' was defined in 
the GCA to mean ``a weapon designed or redesigned, made or remade, and 
intended to be fired from the shoulder and designed or redesigned and 
made or remade to use the energy of the explosive in a fixed shotgun 
shell to fire through a smooth bore either a number of ball shot or a 
single projectile for each single pull of the trigger.'' 18 U.S.C. 
921(a)(5) (1994). The Act amended the definition of ``shotgun'' by 
replacing the words ``the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell'' with 
``an explosive.''
    The provisions of the Act relating to the miscellaneous amendments 
also became effective upon the date of enactment, October 21, 1998.
    The Department proposes to amend 27 CFR 478.11 to reflect the 
definitions of the terms ``rifle'' and ``shotgun'' set forth in the 
Act.

How This Document Complies With the Federal Administrative Requirements 
for Rulemaking

A. Executive Orders 12866 and 13563--Regulatory Planning and Review

    This proposed regulation has been drafted and reviewed in 
accordance with Executive Order 12866, ``Regulatory Planning and 
Review,'' section 1(b), The Principles of Regulation, and in accordance 
with Executive Order 13563, ``Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review,'' section 1(b), General Principles of Regulation.
    The Department has determined that this proposed rule is a 
``significant regulatory action'' under section 3(f) of Executive Order 
12866 and, accordingly, this proposed rule has been reviewed by the 
Office of Management and Budget. However, this proposed rule will not 
have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million, nor will it 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health, or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities. Accordingly, this proposed rule is not an ``economically 
significant'' rulemaking under Executive Order 12866.
    Further, both Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to 
assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, 
if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that 
maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, 
public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). 
Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both 
costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of 
promoting flexibility.
    The economic effects associated with this proposed rule are 
attributable to the statutory requirement that went into effect in 1999 
that applicants for federal firearms licenses must certify that, with 
certain exceptions, secure gun storage or safety devices will be 
available at any place where firearms are sold under the license to 
nonlicensees. The proposed rule does not impose additional costs on the 
licensed dealer beyond what is already required by statute. However, 
the proposed rule would extend this certification requirement to 
manufacturers or importers who have premises from which firearms are 
sold to nonlicensees. The additional costs imposed on these 
manufacturers and importers is, however, likely to be minimal.
    The rule proposes that the licensed dealer, or licensed 
manufacturer or importer having premises where firearms are sold to 
nonlicensees, must certify that they will make available firearms 
safety locks or secure gun storage devices that will be compatible with 
each type of firearm that the licensee sells. One measure of the cost 
of these proposed safety device requirements--requirements that, as 
noted, already are required by statute for licensed dealers--is the 
opportunity cost of licensees making secure gun storage and safety 
devices available instead of not stocking them or stocking other 
products that might have a higher profit margin or that consumers may 
prefer more. The opportunity cost would be measured as the foregone 
profit that could be earned by licensees in the absence of the 
requirement.
    ATF lacks data to reliably estimate this opportunity cost. For 
example, ATF is not aware of any data sources on the number or share of 
licensees that would not make gun storage or safety devices available 
absent the statutory requirement, the number and types of gun storage 
or safety devices that licensees would need to make available in order 
to comply with the statutory requirement, or the products that 
licensees would have made available absent the requirement. ATF seeks 
information from the public on data and methods for estimating the 
opportunity cost of this requirement.
    Although ATF lacks data to reliably estimate the opportunity cost 
of the safe storage requirement, it is worth noting that a number of 
factors may affect the number of secure gun storage or safety devices 
that an individual licensee must supply on his premises and the overall 
cost to licensees of purchasing the required devices. First, dealers, 
manufacturers, and importers may be able to recover the cost of 
purchasing secure gun storage or safety devices through the sale of 
those products to their customers. Second, many of the secure gun 
storage or firearm safety devices are compatible with numerous 
firearms. Therefore, one secure gun storage or safety device will be 
able satisfy the requirement for all firearms that are compatible with 
that secure gun storage or safety device. Third, because safety 
devices, such as trigger locks and cable locks, are commodities that 
police departments provide free or the cost of which ranges from less 
than $1 up to $10, a licensee might be able to enter into an agreement 
with those departments pursuant to which local law enforcement would 
provide the devices free of charge on the licensee's premises. Finally, 
manufacturers may choose to package compatible safety devices along 
with new handgun and long gun offerings. Such integrated packaging 
relieves the federal firearms licensee from the cost of providing 
safety devices for those firearms. These four factors, which ATF cannot 
measure with precision, may affect the number of secure gun storage or 
safety devices that an individual licensee must supply and the overall 
costs to licensees of purchasing the required devices.
    The overall benefit of the secure gun storage or safety devices 
requirement is to provide firearm purchasers with the ability to 
acquire a device that will allow them to safely secure their firearms 
from unlawful use or accidental discharge.

[[Page 33451]]

    The economic effects associated with amending the definition of the 
term ``antique firearm'' will result in a cost savings to the licensee 
and ATF. Federal firearms licensees are no longer required to expend 
resources to record transactions of any firearm meeting the amended 
definition of an antique firearm contained in this proposed rule, 
because antique firearms are not regulated by ATF. Since ATF does not 
collect any data regarding these firearms transactions, and federal 
firearms licensees are not required to keep records of these firearms, 
ATF is unable to measure the cost impact of amending the definition of 
antique firearms except to indicate that licensees will no longer be 
required to keep records on the antique firearms that meet the 
definition. Additionally, the amendments to the definitions reflect the 
definitions currently codified in the statute. Since the enactment of 
Public Law 105-277, Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental 
Appropriations Act, 1999 on October 21, 1998, federal firearms 
licensees have followed these amended statutory definitions and no 
additional economic change or impact will result from these amendments 
to the regulations.
    There are no costs associated with the proposed amendments to the 
definitions of the terms ``rifle'' and ``shotgun'' as these are 
technical amendments that integrate statutory language, which have no 
associated costs, into the regulations.

B. Executive Order 13132

    This proposed rule will not have substantial direct effects on the 
States, on the relationship between the Federal Government and the 
States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the 
various levels of government. Therefore, in accordance with section 6 
of Executive Order 13132, ``Federalism,'' the Attorney General has 
determined that this proposed rule does not have sufficient federalism 
implications to warrant the preparation of a federalism summary impact 
statement.

C. Executive Order 12988

    This proposed rule meets the applicable standards set forth in 
sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of Executive Order 12988, ``Civil Justice 
Reform.''

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 605(b), requires an agency 
to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to 
notice and comment rulemaking requirements unless the agency certifies 
that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. Small entities include small 
businesses, small not-for-profit enterprises, and small governmental 
jurisdictions. The Attorney General has reviewed this proposed rule 
and, by approving it, certifies that this proposed rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    The economic effects associated with this proposed rule are 
attributable to statutory requirements that went into effect in 1999, 
that applicants for federal firearms licenses must certify that, with 
certain exceptions, secure gun storage or safety devices will be 
available at any place where firearms are sold under the license to 
nonlicensees. The proposed rule does not impose additional costs or 
burden on the licensed dealer beyond what is already required by 
statute. However, the proposed rule would extend this certification 
requirement to manufacturers or importers who have premises from which 
firearms are sold to nonlicensees. The additional costs imposed on 
these manufacturers and importers is, however, likely to be minimal.
    The rule proposes that the licensed dealer, or licensed 
manufacturer or importer having premises where firearms are sold to 
nonlicensees, must certify that they will make available firearms 
secure gun storage or safety devices that will be compatible with each 
types of firearms that the licensee sells. One measure of the cost of 
these proposed safety device requirements--requirements that, as noted, 
already are required by statute for licensed dealers--is the 
opportunity cost of licensees making secure gun storage and safety 
devices available instead of not stocking them or stocking other 
products that might have a higher profit margin or that consumers may 
prefer. The opportunity cost would be measured as the foregone profit 
that could be earned by licensees in the absence of the requirement.
    ATF lacks data to reliably estimate this opportunity cost. For 
example, ATF is not aware of any data sources on the number or share of 
licensees that would not make gun storage or safety devices available 
absent the statutory requirement, the number and types of gun storage 
or safety devices that licensees would need to make available in order 
to comply with the statutory requirement, or the products that 
licensees would have made available absent the requirement. ATF seeks 
information from the public on data and methods for estimating the 
opportunity cost of this requirement.
    Although ATF lacks data to reliably estimate the opportunity cost 
of the safe storage requirement, it is worth noting that a number of 
factors may affect the number of secure gun storage or safety devices 
that an individual licensee must supply on his premises and the overall 
cost to licensees of purchasing the required devices. First, dealers, 
manufacturers, and importers may be able to recover the cost of 
purchasing secure gun storage or safety devices through the sale of 
those products to their customers. Second, many of the secure gun 
storage or firearm safety devices are compatible with numerous 
firearms. Therefore, one secure gun storage or safety device will be 
able satisfy the requirement for all firearms that are compatible with 
that secure gun storage or safety device. Third, because safety 
devices, such as trigger locks and cable locks, are commodities that 
police departments provide free or the cost of which ranges from less 
than $1 up to $10, a licensee might be able to enter into an agreement 
with those departments pursuant to which local law enforcement would 
provide the devices free of charge on the licensee's premises. Finally, 
manufacturers may choose to package compatible safety devices along 
with new handgun and long gun offerings. Such integrated packaging 
relieves the federal firearms licensee from the cost of providing 
safety devices for those firearms. These four factors, which ATF cannot 
measure with precision, may affect the number of secure gun storage or 
safety devices that an individual licensee must supply and the overall 
costs to the licensee of purchasing the required devices.
    The overall benefit of the secure gun storage or safety devices 
requirement is to provide firearms purchasers with the ability to 
acquire a device that will allow them to safely secure their firearms 
from unlawful use or accidental discharge.
    The economic effects associated with amending the definition of the 
term ``antique firearm'' will result in a cost savings to the licensee 
and ATF. Federal firearms licensees are no longer required to expend 
resources to record transactions of any firearm meeting the amended 
definition of an antique firearm contained in this proposed rule, 
because such firearms are not regulated by ATF. Since ATF does not 
collect any data regarding these firearm transactions, federal firearms 
licensees are not required to keep records of these firearms, ATF is 
unable to measure the cost impact of amending the definition of antique 
firearms except to indicate that licensees will no longer be required 
to keep records on the antique firearms

[[Page 33452]]

that meet the definition. Additionally, the amendments to the 
definitions reflect the definitions currently codified in the statute. 
Since the enactment of Public Law 105-277, Omnibus Consolidated and 
Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999 on October 21, 1998, 
federal firearms licensees have followed these amended statutory 
definitions and no additional economic change or impact will result 
from these amendments to the regulations.
    There are no costs associated with the proposed amendments to the 
definitions of the terms ``rifle'' and ``shotgun'' as these are 
technical amendments that integrate statutory language, which have no 
associated costs, into the regulations.

E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996

    This proposed rule is not a major rule as defined by section 251 of 
the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. 5 
U.S.C. 804. This proposed rule will not result in an annual effect on 
the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or 
prices; or significant adverse effects on competition, employment, 
investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of United 
States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in 
domestic and export markets.

F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    This proposed rule will not result in the expenditure by State, 
local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector of $100 million or more in any one year, and it will not 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments. Therefore, no 
actions were deemed necessary under the provisions of the Unfunded 
Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

G. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This proposed rule would revise an existing reporting requirement 
under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 
104-13, 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR 
part 1320. The proposed rule provides that an applicant for a federal 
firearms dealer license, or an applicant for a federal firearms 
importer or manufacture license who will be engaged in business on the 
licensed premises as a dealer in the same type of firearms authorized 
by the license to import or manufacture, must certify on ATF Form 7 
(5310.12), Application for Federal Firearms License, that compatible 
secure gun storage or safety devices will be available at any place in 
which firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not 
licensees.
    The proposed rule modifies ATF Form 7 by amending Item 27 to 
include the word ``compatible'' in front of the phrase ``secure gun 
storage'' in the certification. This edit does not change or alter the 
burden or recordkeeping requirements associated with ATF Form 7. The 
burden and respondent information associated with the certification of 
secure storage and safety devices have already been accounted for with 
respect to ATF Form 7, and were approved by the Office of Management 
and Budget under control number 1140-0018.

Public Participation

A. Comments Sought

    ATF is requesting comments on the proposed rule from all interested 
persons. ATF is also specifically requesting comments on the clarity of 
this proposed rule and how it may be made easier to understand.
    In addition, ATF requests comments regarding the extent to which 
this proposed rule will result in any new costs to the public, and what 
benefits may be realized.
    All comments must reference this document docket number (ATF 24P), 
be legible, and include your name and mailing address. ATF will treat 
all comments as originals and will not acknowledge receipt of comments.
    Comments received on or before the closing date will be carefully 
considered. Comments received after that date will be given the same 
consideration if it is practical to do so, but assurance of 
consideration cannot be given except as to comments received on or 
before the closing date.

B. Confidentiality

    Comments, whether submitted electronically or on paper, will be 
made available for public viewing at ATF, and on the Internet as part 
of the eRulemaking initiative, and are subject to the Freedom of 
Information Act. Commenters who do not want their name or other 
personal identifying information posted on the Internet should submit 
their comment by mail or facsimile, along with a separate cover sheet 
that contains their personal identifying information. Both the cover 
sheet and comment must reference this docket number. Information 
contained in the cover sheet will not be posted on the Internet. Any 
personal identifying information that appears within the comment will 
be posted on the Internet and will not be redacted by ATF.
    Any material that the commenter considers to be inappropriate for 
disclosure to the public, but is not confidential under law, should not 
be included in the comment. Any person submitting a comment shall 
specifically designate that portion (if any) of his comments that 
contains material that is confidential under law (e.g., trade secrets, 
processes, etc.). Any portion of a comment that is confidential under 
law shall be set forth on pages separate from the balance of the 
comment and shall be prominently marked ``confidential'' at the top of 
each page. Confidential information will be included in the rulemaking 
record but will not be disclosed to the public. Any comments containing 
material that is not confidential under law may be disclosed to the 
public. In any event, the name of the person submitting a comment is 
not exempt from disclosure.

C. Submitting Comments

    Comments may be submitted in any of three ways:
     Mail: Send written comments to the address listed in the 
ADDRESSES section of this document. Written comments may be of any 
length and must appear in a minimum 12-point font type (0.17 inches), 
include your complete mailing address, and be signed.
     Facsimile: You may submit comments by facsimile 
transmission to (202) 648-9741. Faxed comments must:
    (1) Be legible and appear in a minimum 12-point font type (0.17 
inches);
    (2) Be on 8\1/2\'' x 11'' paper;
    (3) Contain a legible, written signature; and
    (4) Be no more than five pages long. ATF will not accept faxed 
comments that exceed five pages.
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: To submit comments to ATF via 
the Federal eRulemaking portal, visit http://www.regulations.gov and 
follow the instructions for submitting comments.

D. Request for Hearing

    Any interested person who desires an opportunity to comment orally 
at a public hearing should submit his or her request, in writing, to 
the Director of ATF within the 90-day comment period. The Director, 
however, reserves the right to determine, in light of all 
circumstances, whether a public hearing is necessary.

Disclosure

    Copies of this proposed rule and the comments received will be 
available for public inspection by appointment during normal business 
hours at: ATF Reading Room, Room 1E-062, 99 New

[[Page 33453]]

York Avenue NE., Washington, DC 20226; telephone: (202) 648-8740.

Drafting Information

    The author of this document is George M. Fodor, Office of 
Regulatory Affairs, Enforcement Programs and Services, Bureau of 
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

List of Subjects in 27 CFR Part 478

    Administrative practice and procedure, Arms and munitions, Customs 
duties and inspection, Exports, Imports, Intergovernmental relations, 
Law enforcement officers, Military personnel, Penalties, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Research, Seizures and forfeitures, and 
Transportation.

Authority and Issuance

    Accordingly, for the reasons discussed in the preamble, 27 CFR part 
478 is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 478--COMMERCE IN FIREARMS AND AMMUNITION

0
1. The authority citation for 27 CFR part 478 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552(a); 18 U.S.C. 847, 921-931; 44 U.S.C. 
3504(h).

0
2. Amend Sec.  478.11 as follows:
0
a. Remove the words ``the explosive in a fixed metallic cartridge'' in 
the definition of ``Rifle'' and add in their place ``an explosive'';
0
b. Remove the words ``the explosive in a fixed shotgun shell'' in the 
definition of ``Shotgun'' and add in their place ``an explosive''; and
0
c. Revise the definition of ``Antique firearm'' and add a definition 
for the term ``Secure gun storage or safety device'', to read as 
follows:


Sec.  478.11  Meaning of terms.

* * * * *
    Antique firearm. (a) Any firearm (including any firearm with a 
matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition 
system) manufactured in or before 1898;
    (b) Any replica of any firearm described in paragraph (a) of this 
definition if such replica--
    (1) Is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional 
centerfire fixed ammunition, or
    (2) Uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition that 
is no longer manufactured in the United States and that is not readily 
available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or
    (c) Any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle 
loading pistol that is designed to use black powder, or a black powder 
substitute, and that cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this 
paragraph (c), the term ``antique firearm'' does not include any weapon 
that incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm that is 
converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon 
that can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the 
barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.
* * * * *
    Secure gun storage or safety device. (a) A device that, when 
installed on a firearm, is designed to prevent the firearm from being 
operated without first deactivating the device;
    (b) A device incorporated into the design of the firearm that is 
designed to prevent the operation of the firearm by anyone not having 
access to the device; or
    (c) 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.
* * * * *
0
3. Amend Sec.  478.73 by adding a sentence after the first sentence in 
paragraph (a) to read as follows:


Sec.  478.73  Notice of revocation, suspension, or imposition of civil 
fine.

    (a) Basis for action. * * * In addition, a notice of revocation of 
the license, ATF Form 4500, may be issued whenever the Director has 
reason to believe that a licensee fails to have secure gun storage or 
safety devices available at any place in which firearms are sold under 
the license to persons who are not licensees (except in any case in 
which a secure gun storage or safety device is temporarily unavailable 
because of theft, casualty loss, consumer sales, backorders from a 
manufacturer, or any other similar reason beyond the control of the 
licensee). * * *
* * * * *
0
4. Add Sec.  478.104 to subpart F to read as follows:


Sec.  478.104  Secure gun storage or safety device.

    (a) Any person who applies to be a licensed firearms dealer must 
certify on ATF Form 7 (5310.12), Application for Federal Firearms 
License, that compatible secure gun storage or safety devices will be 
available at any place where firearms are sold under the license to 
nonlicensed individuals (subject to the exception that in any case in 
which a secure gun storage or safety device is temporarily unavailable 
because of theft, casualty, loss, consumer sales, backorders from a 
manufacturer, or any other similar reason beyond the control of the 
licensee, the dealer shall not be considered in violation of the 
requirement to make available such a device).
    (b) Any person who applies to be a licensed firearms importer or a 
licensed manufacturer and will be engaged in business on the licensed 
premises as a dealer in the same type of firearms authorized by the 
license to be imported or manufactured must make the certification 
required under paragraph (a) of this section.
    (c) Each licensee described in this section must have compatible 
secure gun storage or safety devices available at any place in which 
firearms are sold under the license to persons who are not licensees. 
However, such licensee shall not be considered to be in violation of 
this requirement if a secure gun storage or safety device is 
temporarily unavailable because of theft, casualty loss, consumer 
sales, backorders from a manufacturer, or any other similar reason 
beyond the control of the licensee.

     Dated: May 17, 2016.
Loretta E. Lynch,
Attorney General.
[FR Doc. 2016-12364 Filed 5-25-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4410-FY-P