Calcium ion transiently blocks Na+ channels, and it shortens the time course for closing of their activation gates. We examined the relation between block and closing kinetics by using the Na+ channels natively expressed in GH3 cells, a clonal line of rat pituitary cells. To simplify analysis, inactivation of the Na+ channels was destroyed by including papain in the internal medium. All divalent cations tested, and trivalent La3+, blocked a progressively larger fraction of the channels as their concentration increased, and they accelerated the closing of the Na+ channel activation gate. For calcium, the most extensively studied cation, there is an approximately linear relation between the fraction of the channels that are calcium-blocked and the closing rate. Extrapolation of the data to very low calcium suggests that closing rate is near zero when there is no block. Analysis shows that, almost with certainty, the channels can close when occupied by calcium. The analysis further suggests that the channels close preferentially or exclusively from the calcium-blocked state.