Bureau of Security and Investigative Services

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Frequently Asked Questions - Firearms Permit (FQ)

  1. What are the requirements for obtaining a Firearms Permit?

    To apply for a firearms permit you must:

    • Take a 14-hour course (8 hours classroom, 6 hours range) in the carrying and use of firearms given by a firearms training instructor certified by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
    • Pass the written and range exams given at the end of the course.
    • Submit an application with appropriate fees.
    • Be a United States citizen or have permanent legal alien status.
    • Undergo a criminal history review
    • Be 18 years of age
  2. Can I confirm that the Bureau received my Firearms Permit application?

    Yes, you may contact the Bureau at (800) 952-5210 or (916) 322-4000. It takes approximately six weeks from the date we receive an application until it is entered into the computer. It is recommended that you wait at least four months before calling to check on the status of your Firearms Permit.

  3. How long does the application process take?

    The application process takes approximately four to six months to complete.

  4. How do I notify the Bureau of my change of address?

    You must notify the Bureau in writing within 30 days of an address change. Be sure to include your permit number, all other Bureau license types and numbers, name, previous address, new address, date of birth and Social Security number. Please print the information.

  5. Can a simulator be used in place of qualifying at the shooting range

    Yes, a simulator may be used to qualify.

  6. Will the firing range provide a handgun if I do not possess one?

    A student needs to call the range to make those arrangements.

  7. Can I use rubber bullets?


  8. I have completed 832 PC training. Can I obtain a Firearms Permit?

    No. To be issued a Firearms Permit, you must complete the Bureau's training at a Bureau-certified training facility.

  9. How do I replace a lost permit one?

    You may request a duplicate permit by submitting a written request and a written explanation of the circumstances, with a $10 fee. Please allow six to eight weeks for replacement.

  10. If the Bureau misspelled my name on the Firearms Permit, is there a fee for a new one?

    No. Submit a written request for a new permit. It will take approximately two weeks to receive a replacement permit.

  11. When does a Firearms Permit expire? Is there any grace period?

    A Firearms Permit expires on the date of expiration and there is no grace period. If you do not apply for renewal before the date of expiration, you must re-qualify and start over as a new applicant.

  12. What is required for renewal of a Firearms Permit?

    A Firearms Permit expires two years from the date of issuance. An applicant must re-qualify four times during the life of the permit: twice during the first year after the date of issuance, and twice during the second year. Re-qualifications must be at least four months apart.

  13. My Firearms Permit has expired and the renewal is being processed. Can an expired permit and proof of payment be used until the renewal is received?

    No. You must have a current permit and registration in order to legally carry a firearm.

  14. If I qualified with a revolver, am I allowed to carry an "automatic" of the same caliber while on duty? (Ex. I qualified with a .38 revolver and a .45 automatic. Can I carry a .45 revolver since I qualified with a revolver and an automatic?)

    The caliber must be the same; however, the firearms permit does not specify revolver or automatic.

  15. How do I change or add a caliber on my Firearms Permit?

    You must:

    • Re-qualify at a firing range.
    • Submit a firearms permit application obtained from the training facility. There is no fee for adding a caliber.
    • If you want a firearms permit showing the new caliber, you must submit a request for a duplicate permit along with the $10 fee. It takes approximately three to six weeks to receive the new Firearms Permit.
  16. I was denied a Firearms Permit. When can I reapply?

    You may submit a new application one year from the date of denial.

  17. I received a 1203.4 dismissal on my conviction. Do I still need to report the conviction on my application?

    Yes. You still must report the conviction.

  18. I was only convicted of a misdemeanor. Can the Bureau still deny my Firearms Permit?

    Yes. A conviction does not have to be a felony for the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services to deny the issuance of a firearms permit.

  19. Does the Bureau issue concealed weapons permits?

    No. Contact your local sheriff's office or police department to obtain a concealed weapon permit.

  20. How do I report a weapons incident?

    A Security Guard who uses/discharges a weapon while on duty must:

    • Report the incident to your employer within 24 hours.
    • File a written report with the director, Department of Consumer Affairs within seven days.
    • You may also be required to file a report with local law enforcement agencies.
    Failure to do so may result in a fine.