Pursuant to California Penal Code section 26840, any person who acquires a firearm must have a Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC), unless they are statutorily exempt from the FSC requirement (see below). To obtain an FSC, a person must pass a Department of Justice (DOJ) written test on firearm safety. The test is administered by DOJ Certified Instructors, who are often located at firearms dealerships. This certificate supersedes previous certificates that were required by the state.

This study guide provides the basic firearm safety information necessary to pass the test. Following the firearm safety information in this guide will help reduce the potential for accidental deaths and injuries, particularly those involving children, caused by the unsafe handling and storing of firearms.

In addition to safety information, this study guide provides a general summary of the state laws that govern the sale and use of firearms. Finally, there is a glossary that defines the more technical terms used in the study guide.

Firearm Safety Certificate Study Guide

Pursuant to Penal Code section 31700, there are exemptions from the FSC requirement including, but not limited to:

  • Federal Firearms License Collectors with a Certificate of Eligibility (for Curio and Relic transactions only);
  • Active, active reserve, or honorably retired military;
  • Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) permit holders; and
  • Persons who have completed Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) (Pen. Code, § 832) firearms training.