To buy a gun in San Diego, California, you must visit a licensed firearms dealership and present your Handgun Safety Certificate (HSC), which proves you can safely handle and operate a handgun. By California law, you must wait 10 days as part of the Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) process before you can take the handgun home. You can then revisit the licensed firearms dealership within 30 days, and demonstrate to the dealer that you know how to use the handgun you have purchased. If you do not have an HSC, you can obtain one by visiting any licensed firearms dealership and passing the Handgun Safety Certificate Test with a score of 75 percent of higher. You can then present your HSC to any licensed firearms dealer to purchase a handgun.
Verify that you qualify to receive an HSC.
You must be at least 21 years of age, be a resident of California, and have a valid California drivers license or identification card.
If you are 18 years of age, you can still receive an HSC, but you will only have the ability to buy a rifle or shotgun.
Obtain a copy of the HSC Study Guide.
The study guide will help prepare you for the test to receive your HSC, and can either be downloaded from the Internet or be found at any firearms dealership.
Buy a copy of the study guide from any licensed firearms dealership in San Diego for 50 cents (0.36 euros). To locate the nearest San Diego licensed firearm dealership, refer to your local phone directory or visit the “Shooting for San Diego” website featured in the Sources section of this article.
Read and review the HSC Study Guide.
In order to receive the HSC, you must pass the test with a score of at least 75 percent.
Collect the testing fees required for the HSC.
The testing fee is 25 dollars (18 euros) and allows you to take the test up to 2 times, if needed.
Visit a licensed firearms dealership to take the test.
After you have passed the test, you will receive your HSC, which is valid for 5 years.
Verify with the firearms dealership before you visit that a Department of Justice (DOJ) Certified Instructor is available at the firearms dealership to administer and oversee the test.
Gather the materials required by the firearms dealership.
The firearms dealer will need verification that you qualify to buy a gun.
Bring your HSC, your California drivers license or identification card, and an additional document that proves your California residency; such as a utility bill, lease agreement, or property deed.
Visit the firearms dealership to buy a gun.
Upon selecting your gun, the firearms dealer will verify your documents and begin the DROS process.
Revisit the firearms dealership to receive your handgun.
The DROS process requires you to wait at least 10 days before you can take your handgun home. You will then be required to demonstrate to the dealer that you can safely operate the handgun you purchased.
In some cases, dealers will allow you to perform the handgun safe-handling demonstration at the time of your initial visit to buy the handgun.