Frequently Asked Questions

Firearm Permit

If my BSIS firearms card lists multiple calibers, may I carry more than 1 firearm at a time?

No matter how many firearm calibers are listed on your BSIS firearms permit, you may only carry 1 of the listed calibers on your person at a time.

I am an active duty peace officer, how can I get my guard card and firearms permit? +

BSIS requires law enforcement officers to provide documentation of their training. These requirements vary depending on the agency of the officer. If you contact BSIS at 916-322-4000, the Bureau will explain the exact requirements for you.

How do I get my exposed firearm permit? +

Assuming you already have a California guard card. You will need to come in and take the BSIS firearms course at our facility. In addition to your Valid ID and Social Security number, we will also need proof of citizenship like a birth certificate, DD 214 or US passport. You will be provided training in the use of a firearm for working security, the laws, rules and regulations that pertain to security officers working with a firearm and we will also teach you to be able to shoot and pass the qualification course in order to get your permit. Included in our course is the training, the fingerprinting, the ammunition, targets, range time and gun rentals. Basically everything you need to get your firearms permit not including the $100.00 you send to BSIS for them to process your application.

I don’t own my own firearm can I still take the class? +

Owning a firearm is not a requirement to take the BSIS firearms course. We have a large selection of revolvers and semiautomatics in all different calibers to be able to provide you a loaner for the duration of your training. As a matter of convenience, most of the officers that take our training use our firearms and ammunition out of convenience and the fact that we include ammunition for the initial re-qualification in the price quoted for the course.

How old do I need to be to take the BSIS firearm course? +

The state requires you be at least 18 years of age to partake in the firearms training course for BSIS. While you may not be able to legally purchase your own handgun in the state of California, you would be able to have your parents purchase a firearm and allow you to use it during the course of work. You would also be able to take it to the shooting range for qualifications and practice. Do be aware that some companies require that you be at least 21 years of age before they are able to hire you to work as an armed security guard for their company. While this is not a state law, it is a restriction that the company itself imposes on the security officers.

Is a concealed weapons permit the same as an exposed firearms permit? +

A concealed firearm permit allows an individual to carry a firearm under their clothing and concealed. Your BSIS firearm permit is not a concealed firearms permit. The BSIS firearm permit is an exposed weapon permit. You may not legally carry a concealed weapon with just a California guard card and a California firearm card. If you live in a County that issues concealed weapons permits and your employer allows it, you may carry a concealed weapon with your valid guard card and firearms permit while working as a armed security officer.

I’m in the US military do I have to take firearms course? +

Unfortunately serving in the US military does not exempt you from taking the California guard card or firearms card course. While some of the information may be similar to that that you were provided during your training, you will be exposed to new information that you will hopefully find quite helpful. One positive note, the state of California does provide for an accelerated processing of your guard card and firearm card for the men and women that have served in the US military and received an honorable discharge.

I am a reserve police officer trained with my police department; do I need to take the BSIS firearms course? +

Due to changes in the way the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services processes the applications for law enforcement, we now refer all law enforcement to call the Bureau at 916-322-4000 and speak with a Bureau representative as to the specific requirements for your department. Since there are a great number of different agencies and standards of training throughout the state of California we would be unable to provide you with the specific requirements for any one agency.

What can I use for proof of citizenship in order to get my firearms permit? +

You would need to bring either a valid US Passport, valid US passport card, Certificate of Naturalization, valid green card, DD-214 or Birth certificate from the United State of America.

I only have a work permit or non-US passport is that enough to get a firearm permit? +

Unfortunately, BSIS will not approve a firearms permit unless you provide an acceptable proof of citizenship which includes the following: either a US Passport, Certificate of Naturalization, green card, DD-214 or Birth certificate from the United State of America.

Where can I get a copy of my birth certificate? +

We recommend contacting the county recorder’s office. Most of the time you should be able to get your birth certificate printed the same day. On occasion, you may need to wait for a copy to be mailed to you depending on where the records are.

How often do I have to re-qualify for my exposed firearms permit? +

BSIS requires firearms permit holders to re-qualify 2 times during each year of the permit. The qualifications must be at least 4 months apart but not more than six months apart. The easiest way is to qualify every 5 months from the date of issue of the firearms permit. This will allow plenty of time to submit the renewal paperwork and will assure that you will receive your new permit prior to the expiration of the old permit.

When does Valley guard training offer the firearms permit class? +

Anytime we are open. We are open 7 days a week. We are open from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays and from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm on Saturdays and 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sundays.

How much does it cost to take the exposed firearms permit class? +

The total cost at Valley Guard Training for the BSIS firearms permit is $394.00. $294.00 are for the class, range time, ammunition, qualification and live scan fingerprinting. The additional $100.00 is mailed to the BSIS along with your application as a processing fee.
New requirement for a BSIS firearm permit

Beginning on July 1st, 2018, if you want to get a BSIS firearms permit, you will need to take an assessment that helps to determine whether the applicant possesses, at the time of the assessment, appropriate judgement, restraint, and self-control to carry a firearm while on duty. The assessment will be provided by PSI Services LLC.
The assessment will be the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, which is widely used for police officers, firefighters and security guards, with scoring standards designed for the attributes: appropriate judgment, restraint and self-control.
The fee to take the assessment will be $60.00 and will need to be paid as part of the assessment appointment scheduling process.
The appointment to take the assessment may be scheduled ONLY after BSIS issues you the NOTICE OF ELIGIBILITY FOR ASSESSMENT letter. This letter notifies you to contact PSI to schedule the appointment and provides PSI’s contact information, a brief explanation of assessment fee payment options, and the process to request a reasonable accommodation to take the assessment.
NOTE: You must have a scheduled appointment and have paid the assessment fee to take the assessment.
After you complete the assessment, PSI staff will provide each person who completes the assessment in totality with a proof of completion letter that includes the person’s first and last name and the date and time of the assessment administration appointment. This letter should be kept in the event it is needed as proof of having completed the assessment.
If PSI notifies BSIS that the person demonstrated appropriate judgment, restraint and self-control for the purposes of carrying a firearm while on duty, the bureau will issue the person an initial firearm permit or associate the security guard registration with the firearms permit.
If PSI notifies BSIS that the person did not demonstrate appropriate judgment, restraint and self-control for the purposes of carrying a firearm while on duty, the bureau will issue a letter notifying the person that his/her application for a firearms permit, or request to associate the firearms permit with a security guard registration, is denied. The denial letter will include information on the process to appeal the denial.
The bureau anticipates issuance of the firearms permit or denial letter to an individual within 10 business days from the date the individual completed the assessment. Persons should not call the Bureau for their assessment results. For confidentiality reasons, assessment results will not be provided or discussed by telephone.

I haven’t done any of my re-qualifications for my firearms permit can I still renew it? +

Unfortunately, BSIS requires you document 4 re-qualifications over a 2 year period, with 2 in each year of the permit, in order for you to renew your firearms permit. If you are missing even one re-qualification you would need to reapply for another firearms permit.

Do my shooting qualifications I do with my company count towards my BSIS re-qualifications? +

If the qualifications are provided and documented by a BSIS firearms instructor with a valid BSIS training facility, and you follow the BSIS firearms requalification course of fire, then you can use them toward your 2 yearly required qualifications. Make sure you get documentation of the qualifications so you can mail them to BSIS to renew your firearms license.

What do I need to bring with me to class? +

The only things we require for a guard to start training with us is a valid state issued ID, social security number, you can bring the card with you or just a number and a proof of citizenship if you taking the firearms course. Other than that the only other thing we would recommend would be a jacket since it gets cold sometimes in the office and possibly a drink or snack to have during the training.

How do I get my exposed firearm permit? (Assuming you already have a California guard card.) +

You will need to come in and take the BSIS firearms course at our facility. In addition to your Valid ID and Social Security number, we will also need proof of citizenship like a birth certificate DD 214 or US passport. You will be provided training in the use of a firearm for working security, the laws, rules and regulations that pertain to security officers working with a firearm and we will also teach you to be able to shoot and pass the qualification course in order to get your permit. Included in our course is the training, the fingerprinting, the ammunition, targets, range time and gun rentals. Basically everything you need to get your firearms permit not including the $100.00 you send to BSIS for them to process your application.

New requirement for a BSIS firearm permit

Beginning on July 1st, 2018, if you want to get a BSIS firearms permit, you will need to take an assessment that helps to determine whether the applicant possesses, at the time of the assessment, appropriate judgement, restraint, and self-control to carry a firearm while on duty. The assessment will be provided by PSI Services LLC.
The assessment will be the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, which is widely used for police officers, firefighters and security guards, with scoring standards designed for the attributes: appropriate judgment, restraint and self-control.
The fee to take the assessment will be $60.00 and will need to be paid as part of the assessment appointment scheduling process.
The appointment to take the assessment may be scheduled ONLY after BSIS issues you the NOTICE OF ELIGIBILITY FOR ASSESSMENT letter. This letter notifies you to contact PSI to schedule the appointment and provides PSI’s contact information, a brief explanation of assessment fee payment options, and the process to request a reasonable accommodation to take the assessment.
NOTE: You must have a scheduled appointment and have paid the assessment fee to take the assessment.
After you complete the assessment, PSI staff will provide each person who completes the assessment in totality with a proof of completion letter that includes the person’s first and last name and the date and time of the assessment administration appointment. This letter should be kept in the event it is needed as proof of having completed the assessment.
If PSI notifies BSIS that the person demonstrated appropriate judgment, restraint and self-control for the purposes of carrying a firearm while on duty, the bureau will issue the person an initial firearm permit or associate the security guard registration with the firearms permit.
If PSI notifies BSIS that the person did not demonstrate appropriate judgment, restraint and self-control for the purposes of carrying a firearm while on duty, the bureau will issue a letter notifying the person that his/her application for a firearms permit, or request to associate the firearms permit with a security guard registration, is denied. The denial letter will include information on the process to appeal the denial.
The bureau anticipates issuance of the firearms permit or denial letter to an individual within 10 business days from the date the individual completed the assessment. Persons should not call the Bureau for their assessment results. For confidentiality reasons, assessment results will not be provided or discussed by telephone.

BSIS Certified