Firearms Requirements for Security Guards, Alarm Agents, Private Investigators and Private Patrol Operators
Even if you are licensed or registered in the security, alarm, or private investigation fields, you may not carry a gun on duty - whether loaded or unloaded - unless you have been issued an exposed firearm permit by the Department of Consumer Affairs. You must keep the permit with you at all times while on duty.
Note: It is illegal for a licensee or registrant to carry a CONCEALED weapon on duty without a permit issued by local authorities.
Filing an Application
To apply for a firearm permit, you must:
- Take a 14-hour course (8 hours classroom, 6 hours range) in the carrying and use of firearms given by a Bureau- certified firearms training instructor at a Bureau certified training facility
- Pass the written and range exams given at the end of the course
- Be a United States citizen or have permanent legal alien status; and
- Submit a firearm permit application, pay an $80 application fee and submit a Live Scan form (which is appropriate to your license or registration) signed by the Live Scan site operator. A $38 Firearm Eligibility application, $32 Department of Justice (DOJ) fingerprint processing fee and $19 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) fingerprint processing fee must be paid at the Live Scan site. Send your application package to the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, P.O. Box 989002, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9002
Classroom Training-During your eight hours of classroom training, you will learn moral and legal aspects of firearms use, firearms nomenclature, weapons handling and shooting fundamentals, and emergency procedures.
Range Training-The six hours of range training will give you practice in safely handling and firing your weapon. You must requalify on the range twice a year before renewing your permit.
Training Schools-Schools and training instructors must be certified by the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. For a list of licensed training schools, call (800) 952-5210.
Renewals-Firearm permits expire two years from the date of issuance. An applicant must requalify four times during the life of the permit: twice during the first year after the date of issuance, and twice during the second year. Requalifications must be at least four months apart. The application for renewal should be submitted to the Bureau within 60 days before the expiration date. The current fee for renewing a firearm permit is $98. You may not renew your permit once you have allowed it to expire. You must instead apply for a new permit.
Weapons Incidents-A security guard who discharges a weapon while on duty (except on the range) must: (1) report the incident to his or her employer within 24 hours and (2) file a written report with the Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs, within 7 days. Failure to do so may result in a fine.
Violations-The following acts are prohibited by law while a licensee/registrant is on duty:
- Illegally using, carrying, or possessing a dangerous weapon
- Carrying an inoperable, replica, or simulated firearm
- Brandishing or misusing a weapon
- Drawing a weapon without proper cause
- Provoking a shooting incident without cause
- Carrying or using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or dangerous drugs; and
- Carrying or using a firearm of a different caliber than that for which a firearm permit has been issued.