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.
FSC Practice Tests
|FSC Practice Exam 1||Test-Guide|
|FSC Practice Exam 2||Test-Guide|
|FSC Practice Exam 3||Test-Guide|
Other FSC Resources
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.
|FSC Resource 1||27 terms||Quizlet|
|FSC Resource 2||28 terms||Quizlet|
|FSC Resource 3||82 terms||Quizlet|
|FSC Resource 4||68 terms||Quizlet|
FSC Test Content Outline
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.
|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|
|Components of a Cartridge|
|Physics of Gunfire|
|Firearm and Ammunition Calibers|
|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|
|Firearm Storage During Prohibition|
|Miscellaneous Prohibited Acts|
|Persons Ineligible to Possess Firearms|
FSC Test Administration Information
The test is a written examination and is usually taken in firearm stores.
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).
FSC Exemptions and Testing Requirements
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:
|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.
FSC Test Scores
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.