Gianni Evangelisti By: Gianni Evangelisti
FSC Practice Test

The Firearm Safety Certificate Test is a requirement for individuals if they want to purchase or acquire a firearm in the state of California.

Unless you have been exempted, which will be covered below, you must show proof of your Firearm Safety Certificate to the firearm dealer at time of potential purchase.

The best way to prepare is by taking FSC practice tests and reading the FSC official study guide.

The examination is 30 questions and covers firearm safety as well as basic firearm laws. All questions are formatted as either true/false or multiple choice. In order to pass, you must score at least a 75%, equating to 23 correct responses out of 30.

Summary: Learn more about the Firearm Safety Certificate Test and take free FSC practice tests below.

Resource Provider
FSC Practice Exam 1 Test-Guide
FSC Practice Exam 2 Test-Guide
FSC Practice Exam 3 Test-Guide

One of the best resources in order to pass your FSC test is the official study guide provided by the Office of the Attorney General California Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms. This is the most current version, most recently updated in June of 2020. 

Click here to download the PDF version

The study guide also includes FSC practice tests to help self-check knowledge after reading each chapter.

All resources below have the ability to be studied in multiple ways. For example, as flashcards, learning mode, writing mode, in the form of a practice test, to be matched, and more. 

Resource Notes Provider
FSC Resource 1 27 terms Quizlet
FSC Resource 2 28 terms Quizlet
FSC Resource 3 82 terms Quizlet
FSC Resource 4 68 terms Quizlet

The FSC Test will cover a multitude of topics all in regard to firearm safety. Obviously, there is a lot of information and only 30-questions so it is better to cover all your bases and be knowledgeable in all potential topics as you do not know the exact questions that will be asked. This makes you a more responsible firearm owner too!

Please reference the table below to see topics covered throughout the 30-question exam.

Topic Subtopic
Gun Safety Rules The Six Basic Gun Safety Rules
  Additional Safety Points
Firearms and Children Firearm Owner Responsibility
  Summary of Safe Storage Laws Regarding Children
  You Cannot Be Too Careful with Children and Guns
  Talking to Children About Guns
  Instill a Mind of Safety and Responsibility
  Rules for Kids
Firearm Operation and Safe Handling Safe Handling Demonstration 
  Revolver Parts and Operation 
  How a Revolver Works
  Double-Action Revolver Safe Handling
  Single-Action Revolver Safe Handling
  Semiautomatic Pistol Parts and Operation
  How a Semiautomatic Pistol Works
  Semiautomatic Pistol Safe Handling
  Long Gun Safe Handling 
  Ammunition Components
  Components of a Cartridge
  Physics of Gunfire 
  Firearm and Ammunition Calibers
  Dangerous Range 
Firearm Ownership Understand the Safety Aspects of Your Firearm
  Carefully Read All Instructional Material
  Enroll in a Firearm Training Course
  Cleaning and Repair
  Safety and Storage Devices
Firearm Laws Methods of Childproofing
  Introduction to the Laws
  Sales and Transfers of Firearms
  New California Resident Requirement
  Carrying a Concealed Weapon
  Firearms Aboard Common Carriers
  Firearms in the Home, Business or at the Campsite
  Use of Lethal Force in Self-Defense
  Loaded Firearms in Public
  Large-Capacity Magazines
  Firearm Storage During Prohibition
  Miscellaneous Prohibited Acts
  Persons Ineligible to Possess Firearms

The test is a written examination and is usually taken in firearm stores.

FSC Test Administration

Session Lengths

The FSC test takes most candidates thirty minutes or less to complete. This equates to approximately answering a question a minute—which is pretty typical for most examinations. There is no time limit when taking the test though, however.


To take your FSC test go to your local firearm store! Important to note is that the test requires a DOJ Certified instructor to be present. So, taking your examination at a firearm store is your best bet as DOJ Instructors are always present. 

No pre-registration is necessary. Simply walk in. Easy as that!


The FSC test costs $25 to take. This one-time fee allows you to take the exam twice, if applicable. If you were to fail, all you have to do is wait 24-hours and take another modified version of the exam (no additional fee required).

As previously mentioned above, you may be exempt from having to take an FSC test. 

Please reference the list below, and corresponding exemption code, to see if there are any exemptions that may apply to you:

Code Number Description
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
X98 Valid Hunting License (long guns only)

In terms of qualifications or requirements to even be eligible to take the FSC test the candidate must be at least 18 years old and provide a valid California Driver’s License or “California Department of Motor Vehicles Identification Card”. It is important to note that at 18 you can only purchase long guns. So, possessing a valid, unexpired hunting license is necessary if 18.

In most normal cases, you must be 21 years old to legally obtain your FSC.

Additionally, there are several other requirements that may be applicable to you if you even just being loaned or receiving a firearm from family. These requirements may be less known, so it is important to make sure you have all your bases covered in order to avoid a citation or fine.

For example, what happens if a firearm is being loaned to you? Simply put, circumstances will of course vary on the answer to this question. In general, if someone is loaning you a firearm, you must have a current FSC. That being said, if you are only being loaned the firearm for 3 days or less with the loaner being present at all times will not require an FSC.

Similarly, if your mother or father is passing you down a firearm, you do still have to have a current FSC. 

Another commonly asked question is in regard to moving to California with a firearm. Do you need to have an FSC if you are moving into California with an already purchased firearm? The answer is no. You will not need to have an FSC to move into California with your firearm.

In short, it is a common misconception that the FSC is only a requirement when purchasing a firearm, but it is also a requirement when acquiring a firearm in general.

As previously mentioned, a 75% or higher is required to pass the test and receive your certificate. This equates to answering 23 out of 30 questions correctly which with preparation can be easily achieved!

Getting Your FSC Scores

Immediately after taking the FSC test, you will find out your score. It isn’t the end of the world if you failed either. You just need to retake the test. You have to wait 24 hours to do so and there is no additional fee.

How long is a Firearm Safety Certificate valid?

A Firearm Safety Certificate is valid for 5 years after the date of issuance. So, every 5 years if you would like to renew your certificate, you just have to retake the FSC test.

What happens if I lose my Firearm Safety Certificate?

No worries! The FSC replacement cost is only $5. The expiration date will remain the same just simply go to the firearm store you tested at and get in contact with your DOJ Certified Instructor who issued you your certificate.

Do I need to have my certificate when I am possessing or transporting my firearm?

No! The only time you need to present your FSC is when you are purchasing a firearm at a dealer.

Can I receive my FSC if I have been convicted of a felony?

No. Under California jurisdiction, and according to Gifford’s Law Center, “if an individual has been convicted of a felony, certain domestic violence crimes, or is addicted to narcotic drugs” they cannot purchase or possess a firearm. So, they cannot receive their certificate.