In order to purchase a firearm in the state of California, you must obtain a Firearms Safety Certificate (FSC) from a DOJ Certified Instructor.
Pursuant to Senate Bill 683 (Stats 2013, Ch. 761), effective January 1, 2015, the existing Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC) program will be expanded and renamed the Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) program. Under the FSC program, requirements that currently apply to handguns only, will apply to all firearms (handguns and long guns).
There are a variety of 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)].
A valid HSC can still be used to purchase/acquire handguns until it expires. For long gun purchases/acquisitions made January 1, 2015, and thereafter, an FSC will be required. An FSC can be used for both handgun and long gun purchases/acquisitions.
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
No. DOJ Certified Instructors are not authorized to issue FSCs until the statutory provisions establishing the FSC program go into effect on January 1, 2015.
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 given by DOJ Certified Instructors 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.
Yes. The $25 fee entitles you to take the test twice if necessary. If you fail the test the first time, after 24 hours have elapsed you may retake another version of the test from the same DOJ Certified Instructor without any additional fee. 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 will be valid for five (5) years from the date of issuance.
Yes. Prior to taking possession of the firearm, you must have a valid FSC. Pursuant to Penal Code section 27875, subdivision (c), within 30 days of the transfer you must also report the acquisition to DOJ on Form BOF 4544, pdf.
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(s). However, pursuant to Penal Code section 17000, there are important personal firearm importation responsibilities that are explained on this website.
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