Understanding The Difference Between The FSC And A CCW

A FSC (Firearms Safety Certificate) and CCW (Carrying a Concealed Weapon)

On a daily bases we have people walk into our building asking us where can they take their CCW test or get a CCW to buy a firearm. What they really mean is where they can take their FSC test to be able to purchase a firearm. You cannot get a CCW without owning a firearm.

What is an FSC?

Pursuant to 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. 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.

The Range Pistol Club we administer the FSC Monday-Saturday 10AM-7:30PM and Sunday 10AM-5:30PM. FSC cost $25.00.

Here is a link to the study guide,


After passing your FSC test with a 75% and higher the Firearms Safety Certificate will be issued. The FSC is valid for five years.

Who is Exempt from the FSC?

  • Special Weapons Permit Holder
  • Operation of Law Representative
  • Handgun being returned to the owner
  • FFL collector with COE (curio and relic handguns only)
  • Military – Active Duty
  • Military – Reserve
  • Military – Honorably Retired
  • Peace Officer – California – Active
  • Peace Officer – Federal – Active
  • Peace Officer – California – Honorably Retired
  • Peace Officer – California – Reserve
  • Peace Officer – Federal – Honorably Retired
  • Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) Permit Holder
  • O.S.T. 832 PC (Firearms) Training
  • Particular and Limited Authority Peace Officers
  • Law Enforcement Service Gun to Family Member
  • Valid Hunting License (long guns only)