A surgical stapling assembly is disclosed. The stapling instrument comprises a staple cartridge configured to staple the tissue of a patient and a cutting member configure to incise the tissue. The stapling instrument further comprises an anvil movable between an open position and a closed position to clamp tissue against the staple cartridge. The anvil is configured to deform the staples when the staples are ejected from the staple cartridge. In at least one embodiment, the stapling instrument comprises a lockout configured to prevent the cutting member from incising the tissue until after the staples have been formed. In at least one embodiment, the stapling instrument comprises a lockout configured to prevent the anvil from being opened while the cutting member is exposed.