Armed Security Guard Training in California

For you to become an armed security guard in California you should obtain the following two things.

  1. A California guard card, required to work as a security guard with a licensed private patrol operators. A guard card is required whether you want to work as an unarmed or armed security guard.
  2. Obtain a Firearms permit from Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS). You are required to have a firearms permit to carry a gun at your security job in the state of California.

California Guard Card Requirements

You should meet the below requirements to be eligible to become a security guard in California

  • At least 18 years old
  • Criminal history background check conducted by California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Finish a 40-hour training school conducted by a BSIS approved training school.

For more details and requirements see unarmed security guard training in California.

In addition to the guard card, you will need a Firearms permit. BSIS issues the permits after you meet all the requirements to obtain a firearms permit.

Firearm Permit Requirements for Security Guards in California

  • You should be a US citizen or have permanent resident card.
  • Submit a firearm permit application, pay the $80 application fee, and submit a Security Guard Registration w/Firearm Permit Live Scan form.
  • A $38 Firearm Eligibility application.
  • A $32 DOJ fingerprint processing fee.
  • A $17 FBI fingerprint processing fee, and Live Scan site processing fee must be paid at the Live Scan site.
  • Attend a 14-hour (8 hours classroom training and 6 hours range training) training course that teaches carrying and use of firearms. The training should cover the following:
    • Moral and legal aspects
    • Firearms nomenclature
    • Weapon handling and shooting fundamentals
    • Emergency procedures and
    • Range training.

The course must be given by a BSIS certified firearms training instructor at a BSIS certified training facility. Written and range exams will be administered at the end of the course. Costs of training are determined by the training facility, so look around for reviews and compare costs before signing up.

Send your application package to the

Bureau of Security and Investigative Services,
P.O. Box 989002,
West Sacramento,
CA 95798-9002.

You may apply for both a guard registration and a firearm permit application at the same time to the Bureau along with a $130 fee. This will help you become an armed guard straight away.


  1. A firearms qualification card expires two years from the date it was issued. An applicant must re-qualify four times during the life of the permit: twice during the first year after the date of issuance, and twice during the second year. Re-qualifications must be at least four months apart.
  2. See security guard fact sheet at BSIS website.

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