California Security Guard Firearms License Requirements
Firearms Permit FACT SHEET: The Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS or Bureau) issues Firearms Permits (also referred to as a "Firearms Qualification Card (FQ)" or "Exposed Firearms Permit") as specified in Article 4 (commencing with Section 7540) of Chapter 11.3, Article 4 (commencing with Section 7583) of Chapter 11.5 and Article 6 (commencing with Section 7596) of Chapter 11.6 of Division 3 of the Business and Professions Code (BPC).
Requirements for Issuance of Initial Firearms Permit\
To be eligible for a BSIS Firearms Permit, applicants must: • be a citizen of the United States or have permanent legal immigration status (BPC Sections 7542.2, 7583.23, and 7596.3); and
• be at least 21 years of age (BPC Sections 7542.2, 7583.23, and 7596.3); and
• not be banned from owning or possessing any firearm pursuant to State or Federal Law (BPC Sections 7542.3, 7583.24, 7583.25, and 7596.8); and
• be a licensed Private Investigator, Qualified Manager of a Private Investigator, Private Patrol Operator, Qualified Manager of a Private Patrol Operator, Alarm Company Operator, Qualified Manager of an Alarm Company Operator or be a registered Security Guard or Alarm Agent with BSIS (BPC Sections 7542.2, 7583.23, and 7596); and must
• complete a criminal history background check through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the California Department of Justice (DOJ) (BPC Sections 7542.2, 7583.23, 7583.24, and 7596.8); and • complete and submit the Firearms Permit Initial Application1 to the Bureau
• complete the required training courses, including passing all required examinations and qualifications (BPC Sections 7542.2, 7583.22, 7583.23, 7596 and California Code of Regulations Title 16, Division 7, Section 635); and
• pay the initial application fee2 (Title 16, California Code of Regulations, Section 640). • pass an assessment, if applicable, within the six months preceding the date the application is submitted to the Bureau (BPC Sections 7583.23 and 7583.47). Visit https://www.bsis.ca.gov/firearmsassessment/ for additional information on the firearms assessment.
Criminal History Background Check Applicants for a BSIS Firearms Permit must not be prohibited from owning or possessing any firearm pursuant to State or Federal Law and must undergo a criminal history background check through the FBI and DOJ. Applicants are responsible for paying all Live Scan, FBI and DOJ processing fees at the time of fingerprinting. For more information on the Live Scan process and the associated fees, visit the Bureau’s website.
ALERT: Per FBI guidelines, you must submit your application to the Bureau before completing a criminal history background check. To prevent application processing delays, keep a copy of the Live Scan form, which must include the ATI number and the signature of the Live Scan Operator.
Applicants should use the appropriate Live Scan Form available on the Bureau's website as it contains the correct coding needed to ensure the Bureau receives the needed information in a timely manner. Failure to Live Scan with the correct form will delay the processing of your application. Please select the Live Scan form below based on the registration or license that you currently hold:
• Security Guard registrant: Security Guard w/Firearm
• Private Investigator licensee: Priv Investigator w/Fire
• Private Patrol Operator licensee: Private Patrol Opr/Per w/Fire
• Alarm Company Employee/Alarm Agent: Alarm Agent w/Firearm
Once you have selected the correct form, locate the nearest Live Scan site8 . To check on the status of your DOJ and FBI background check, please visit the Department of Justice’s website
Please note, you will need to provide your ATI number (located at the bottom of your completed Live Scan form) and your date of birth.
*Out-of-state applicants that do not have access to a Live Scan site may submit fingerprint hard cards. For additional information, please visit the Bureau’s website.
Required Training Courses Applicants for a BSIS Firearms Permit must complete the following training:
• Power to Arrest Applicants must complete training in the power to arrest. The training may be administered by a Bureau-approved firearms or baton training facility or an organization or school approved by the Bureau. Security Guards may also obtain the training from their employing PPO or from Bureau-approved trainers. Applicants may verify a licensed PPO or training facility by accessing the Verify a License page11 on the Bureau's website. To confirm if an organization or school is approved by the Bureau to administer the training, email email@example.com
https://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/livescan/guard_firearm.pdf https://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/livescan/privateinvest_firearm.pdf https://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/livescan/privatepatrol_firearm.pdf http://bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/livescan/alarmagent_firearm.pdf
• BSIS Firearms Training and Qualifications Applicants must complete the Course of Firearms Training (CCR Section 635) at a Bureau-approved Firearms Training Facility, from a Bureau-approved Firearms Training Instructor and pass the written examination and range qualifications. Applicants must qualify with the caliber of weapon that will be carried while on duty. For information on Bureau-approved Firearms Training Facilities, visit the Verify a License available on the Bureau’s website. The BSIS Firearms Training Manual is also available on the Bureau's website.
A BSIS Security Guard registrant seeking an initial BSIS Firearms Permit must pass an assessment for the purposes of determining whether he/she possesses, at the time of the assessment, appropriate judgment, restraint, and self- control to carry a firearm while on duty, within the six months preceding the date the application is submitted to the Bureau (BPC Sections 7583.23 and 7583.47). Given that other BSIS license types (e.g., Private Investigator license, Private Patrol Operator license, Alarm Company Operator license, etc.) can be associated with the Firearms Permit, under certain circumstances an individual seeking to associate a Firearms Permit to a Security Guard registration will need to complete/pass the assessment as a condition for the association. To determine if you are required to complete the assessment, visit the Bureau’s website