An improved surgical stapling apparatus containing a locking mechanism to prevent reactuation of the apparatus, the locking mechanism comprising a resilient clip having a hook which is engagable with a locking notch on the cam bar retainer. The resilient clip is initially held in a non-engagable position by means of a movable chock. When the stapler is actuated for the first time, the cam bar retainer pushes the chock into a subsequent position where the chock no longer blocks the resilient clip. The resilient clip then moves to a position where the hook is engagable with the locking notch. Once the cam bar retainer is retracted it can no longer be reactuated.