Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren Fights For Stronger Child Safety Locks On Handguns

March 1, 2002
Press Release

Washington, DC‹The House Judiciary Committee approved on Wednesday Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’s amendment to its Views and Estimates calling on the Department of Justice to adopt strong and flexible standards for child safety locks provided under Project ChildSafe. Project ChildSafe is a federal, state and local partnership aimed at providing child safety locks for every handgun in America.

The Department of Justice, in conjunction with American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), has been developing national standards for safety locks supplied under Project ChildSafe. The standards will be used to determine whether locking devices adequately prevent the unauthorized use and inadvertent discharge of firearms. However, it appears that ASTM is developing inadequate standards that could result in unreliable locks and a false sense of security.

“I am encouraged by the bipartisan support for providing child safety locks to responsible gun owners,” said Lofgren. “But we have to provide locks that work. California has already set strong and flexible standards. The federal government should follow California’s lead and develop the same standards for Project ChildSafe. Only strong and reliable locks will protect our children from further acts of senseless violence.”

The amendment introduced by Lofgren expresses the Committee’s concerns over the proposed national standards and recognizes that strong and flexible standards already have been developed by the California Department of Justice in response to California Penal Code section 12088.2. The amendment directs the Department of Justice to adopt the same tough standards for locks provided under Project ChildSafe.