FIREARM SAFETY CERTIFICATE
Just click on the study guide below. When your comfortable, drop by the store to take the test. It's 30 questions and costs $25. It should take you less than 30 minutes to complete.
In the state of California, before you can purchase or acquire a handgun or long gun you must have a Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC). You must have this certificate before you can start a transaction to purchase a handgun or long gun. Prior to taking delivery of a handgun or long gun from a licensed dealer, you must also perform a Safe Handling Demonstration. Some individuals are exempt from the FSC. See list at bottom of this section.
When you come in to take the FSC test, you need to present "clear evidence of identity and age" by presenting a California Driver License or California Department of Motor Vehicles Identification card. You also need to be at least 18 years old. This is an odd requirement as you need to be 21 years old if you would like to purchase or acquire a handgun.
Visit the Q & A Section in the left column for more information on the FSC test.
Firearm Safety Certificate Study Guide
1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
Always assume that a gun is loaded even if you think it is unloaded. Every time a gun is handled for any reason, check to see that it is unloaded. If you are unable to check a gun to see if it is unloaded, leave it alone and seek help from someone more knowledgeable about guns.
2. Keep the gun pointed in the safest possible direction.
Always be aware of where a gun is pointing. A "safe direction" is one where an accidental discharge of the gun will not cause injury or damage. Only point a gun at an object you intend to shoot. Never point a gun toward yourself or another person.
3. Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.
Always keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot. Even though it may be comfortable to rest your finger on the trigger, it also is unsafe. If you are moving around with your finger on the trigger and stumble or fall, you could inadvertently pull the trigger. Sudden loud noises or movements can result in an accidental discharge because there is a natural tendency to tighten the muscles when startled. The trigger is for firing and the handle is for handling.
4. Know your target, its surroundings and beyond.
Check that the areas in front of and behind your target are safe before shooting. Be aware that if the bullet misses or completely passes through the target, it could strike a person or object. Identify the target and make sure it is what you intend to shoot. If you are in doubt, DON'T SHOOT! Never fire at a target that is only a movement, color, sound or unidentifiable shape. Be aware of all the people around you before you shoot.
5. Know how to properly operate your gun.
It is important to become thoroughly familiar with your gun. You should know its mechanical characteristics including how to properly load, unload and clear a malfunction from your gun. Obviously, not all guns are mechanically the same. Never assume that what applies to one make or model is exactly applicable to another. You should direct questions regarding the operation of your gun to your firearms dealer, or contact the manufacturer directly.
6. Store your gun safely and securely to prevent unauthorized use. Guns and ammunition should be stored separately.
When the gun is not in your hands, you must still think of safety. Use a California-approved firearms safety device on the gun, such as a trigger lock or cable lock, so it cannot be fired. Store it unloaded in a locked container, such as a California-approved lock box or a gun safe. Store your gun in a different location than the ammunition. For maximum safety you should use both a locking device and a storage container.
Exempt from the Firearm Safety Certificate and safe handling demonstration are as follows:
• X01 = Special Weapons Permit Holder
• X02 = Operation of Law Representative
• X03 = Handgun being returned to the owner
• X13 = FFL collector with COE (curio and relic handguns only)
• X21 = Military - Active Duty
• X22 = Military - Reserve
• X25 = Military - Honorably Retired
• X31 = Peace Officer - California - Active
• X32 = Peace Officer - Federal - Active
• X33 = Peace Officer - California - Honorably Retired
• X34 = Peace Officer - California - Reserve
• X35 = Peace Officer - Federal - Honorably Retired
• X41 = Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) Permit Holder
• X81 = P.O.S.T. 832 PC (Firearms) Training
• X91 = Particular and Limited Authority Peace Officers
• X95 = Law Enforcement Service Gun to Family Member