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Prior to purchasing or acquiring a firearm, unless exempted, you must have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC). You must present your FSC to the firearms dealer at the time you begin a transaction to purchase or acquire a firearm.
There are several FSC requirement exemptions. In addition to the previous Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC) exemptions, a person issued a valid hunting license is exempt from the FSC requirement for long guns only. (Pen. Code, § 31700, subd. (c).)
o A valid HSC can still be used to purchase/acquire handguns until it expires. For long gun purchases/acquisitions made on or after January 1, 2015, an FSC is required. An FSC can be used to purchase/acquire both handgun and long guns.
Yes. Effective January 1, 2015, an FSC must be obtained prior to taking possession of a long gun, regardless of when the DROS transaction was initiated.
To obtain an FSC you must score at least 75% (23 correct answers out of 30 questions) on the FSC Test covering firearm safety and basic firearms laws. The true/false and multiple choice test is administered by Instructors certified by the Department of Justice who are generally located at firearms dealerships.
The fee for taking the FSC Test and obtaining an FSC is twenty-five dollars ($25). The $25 fee entitles you to take the test twice (from the same DOJ Certified Instructor) if necessary.
Yes. The FSC applicant must be at least 18 years of age and must present clear evidence of identity and age by presenting a California Driver License or California Department of Motor Vehicles Identification Card.
The best way to prepare for the FSC Test is to read the FSC Study Guide. The study guide contains all the information necessary to pass the test. The FSC webinar is also a useful study tool.
The FSC Study Guide is available to view or download from this website at http://www.oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/firearms/forms/hscsg.pdf.
Yes. The $25 fee entitles you to take the test twice if necessary. If you fail the test the first time, you may retake another version of the test from the same DOJ Certified Instructor without any additional fee after 24 hours have elapsed. The DOJ Certified Instructor is required to offer or make available to you the FSC Study Guide or refer you to view the webinar.
An FSC is valid for five years from the date of issuance.
Yes. A replacement FSC is available only through the DOJ Certified Instructor who issued your FSC. The FSC replacement cost is $5. The replacement FSC will reflect the same expiration date as your original FSC.
Yes. Prior to taking possession of the firearm, you must have a valid FSC. Pursuant to Penal Code section 27875, subdivison (c), within 30 days of the transfer, you must also report the acquisition to DOJ on Form BOF 4544, pdf.
No. Mere possession/ownership of a firearm does not require an FSC. However, you do have to present your FSC to the firearms dealer at the time you begin a transaction to purchase/acquire a firearm.
It depends on the specific circumstances. Generally, a person being loaned a firearm must have a current FSC. However, an FSC is not required if the loan does not exceed three days in duration and the person loaning the firearm is at all times within the presence of the person being loaned the firearm.
No, you do not need an FSC to move into California with your firearm. However, there are important rules related to personal firearm importation that must be followed, and which are explained on this website. (Pen. Code, § 17000.)
The safe handling demonstration is a statutory requirement that firearm purchasers/recipients execute a series of specific steps related to safely loading and unloading the firearm. The safe handling demonstration must be performed under the supervision of a DOJ Certified Instructor, and the purchaser must sign an affidavit attesting to the completion of the safe handling demonstration. The performance steps of a successful safe handling demonstration can be found beginning on page 12 of the Firearm Safety Certificate Study Guide, pdf .
The safe handling demonstration must be performed on or after the date the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) is submitted to DOJ, and prior to the delivery of the firearm. You may find it helpful to perform the safe handling demonstration prior to actually initiating the DROS to ensure that you will be able to take possession of the make and model you select.
The exemptions to the safe handling demonstration are the same as the exemptions from the FSC requirement. If a firearm purchaser/recipient has a valid exemption from the FSC requirement, he or she is also exempt from the safe handling demonstration requirement. A copy of the proof of exemption documentation must be retained with the original DROS, but a Safe Handling Demonstration Affidavit would not be required.
The DOJ Certified Instructor administers the Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) test, issues FSCs, and oversees safe handling demonstrations.
DOJ Certified Instructor applicants must have a Certificate of Eligibility as proof of being able to lawfully possess firearms in California.
DOJ Certified Instructor applicants also must possess a certification to provide firearms training from one of the entities identified in Penal Code section 31635.
The training entities specified in Penal Code section 31635 provide the necessary training to qualify individuals for DOJ Certified Instructor certification. However, not all of these training courses are available to the public.
Entities determined by DOJ to give comparable instruction in firearms safety to those identified in Penal Code section 31635 are listed on this website and are generally available to the public.
You must submit a Certified Instructor Application, BOF 037, pdf,to DOJ with copies of your qualifying certification pursuant to Penal Code section 31635 and your valid Certificate of Eligibility.
The DOJ Instructor Certification is valid for five years.
Upon login to the FSC program web-based application, DOJ Certified Instructors will receive pop-up notifications beginning 60 days prior to expiration of their DOJ Certified Instructor Certification. The DOJ Certified Instructor will be required to submit an application for renewal (Form BOF 037) to DOJ. The application is available online at http://oag.ca.gov/firearms/fscinfo.
Yes. In the event of loss or destruction, you may reprint your Certified Instructor Certificate through the web-based application.
The maximum fee you can charge for administering the FSC Test and issuing an FSC is $25. This fee entitles the applicant to take the test twice if necessary.
Yes, the FSC applicant must be at least 18 years of age and must present clear evidence of identity and age by presenting a California Driver License or California Identification Card.
No. A DOJ Certified Instructor must perform all functions of the FSC requirements, including administering the FSC Test and issuing FSCs.
No. Only DOJ Certified Instructors may oversee the safe handling demonstration.
Yes, a DOJ Certified Instructor may oversee his/her own safe handling demonstration and sign the safe handling demonstration affidavit.
“That handgun” and “That long gun” is either the very handgun or long gun being transferred, or one of the same make and model as the one being transferred.
The safe handling demonstration must be performed on or after the date the DROS is submitted to DOJ, and prior to the delivery of the firearm. The Safe Handling Demonstration Affidavit (Form BOF 039) must be completed prior to the delivery of the firearm.
The firearms dealer or his/her employee agent must complete and attach to the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) an affidavit stating the safe handling demonstration requirement was met. The DOJ Safe Handling Demonstration Affidavit Form, BOF 039, pdf, must be signed and dated by the DOJ Certified Instructor, the firearm purchaser/recipient, and the dealer or his/her employee agent delivering the firearm.
As a DOJ Certified Instructor, you will be given access to the web-based application. Upon login, FSC materials, including the FSC Study Guide, FSC Manual, and test materials are available for viewing/printing. The FSCs will be generated individually through the system.
After you have entered the individual’s information into the web-based application, you will be allowed to preview the information entered before you formally submit the information that generates the FSC. Once you have submitted the information and the FSC is generated, you cannot edit the record. If a mistake is made after you have submitted the information, a replacement FSC would be required and the DOJ Certified Instructor would be subject to the $5 replacement fee.
You must notify DOJ within 2 business days of when you discontinue your participation in the FSC Program. You can submit your notification via email to email@example.com .
You must retain all completed test answer sheets for five (5) years from the test date. FSC issuance records will be available through the web-based application for five (5) years.
Unused HSCs can be returned to DOJ by March 1, 2015 for refund. Unused HSCs are cards that have not been filled out and have not been voided. You must submit a written request for refund to:
California Department of Justice, Bureau of Firearms - HSC,
P. O. Box 820200,
Sacramento, CA 94203-0200.
Your written request must include your name, mailing address, DOJ Certified Instructor Number, how many cards are being returned, and the reason for return.
Any unused HSCs returned to DOJ after March 1, 2015, will be destroyed by DOJ and no refund will be issued.
The firearms dealer:
DOJ Certified Instructors will be given access to the web-based application. Upon login, FSC materials, including the FSC Study Guide, FSC Manual, and test materials are available for viewing/printing. The FSCs will be generated individually through the system. The Child Safety Warning tags will only be available to order from DOJ. The warning tags can be requested via email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
In addition to entering the FSC number or the FSC exemption code on the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS), you must keep a copy of the FSC or a copy of the proof of exemption documentation with the original DROS for three years.
You must also complete and attach to the DROS an affidavit stating the safe handling demonstration requirement was met.
For individuals with federal credentials record the person's name, federal agency, and credential number rather than photocopying the credentials.
There are several FSC requirement exemptions. In addition to the previous HSC exemptions, a person issued a valid hunting license is exempt from the FSC requirement for long guns only [Penal Code 31700(c)].
The firearms dealer or his/her employee agent must complete and attach to the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) the DOJ Safe Handling Demonstration Affidavit, BOF 039, pdf stating the safe handling demonstration requirement was met. The affidavit must be signed and dated by the DOJ Certified Instructor, the firearm purchaser/recipient, and the dealer or his/her employee agent delivering the firearm.
Yes, Penal Code section 31635 authorizes DOJ to recognize entities which provide comparable instruction in firearms safety training as the entities specified within that subdivision. The statute also authorizes DOJ to issue a DOJ Certified Instructor card to applicants possessing training certification from any entity so recognized by DOJ.
The training must be conducted by a DOJ Certified Instructor with a minimum of 100 hours verifiable experience in providing firearm safety teaching/training. The proposed training curriculum must include the following course content: Instruction on Safe Handling Demonstration Steps for the following conventional firearm types:
Instruction on Safe Handling Demonstration Steps as required by Penal Code section 26850 for the following Handguns with Alternative Designs:
Instruction on how to render a handgun safe in the event of a jam (malfunction) as required by Penal Code section 26850, subdivision (c).
Requirement for all students to successfully perform the Safe Handling Demonstration with the conventional firearm types. The firearms used for the demonstration must be provided by the DOJ Certified Instructor.
A sample copy of the Certificate of Completion.
An application for Department of Justice Recognition of Entity Giving Comparable Firearms Safety Instruction to Entities Specified in Penal Code Section 31635 form is available for download from this website at http://www.oag.ca.gov/firearms/forms .
No. There is no DOJ fee associated with the application process.