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I am often asked by professional fiduciaries whether they need to have a Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC) for the work they do.

Professional fiduciaries are subject to the same penal code as lay fiduciaries so the answer is yes, generally, fiduciaries (whether licensed professionals or not) are required to have the Firearm Safety Certificate in order to deal with firearms unless they fall within one or more exemptions.

First, and largest, is that the “executor or administrator of an estate” is exempt under California Penal Code § 31700(b)(1). But there are other fiduciary roles not covered by this exemption, for example the successor trustee and the agent under power of attorney.

It is possible that the trustee or agent may fall under one of the many additional exemptions listed in Penal Code § 31700, but most will not. The more common exemptions would be having a concealed carry license (Penal Code §31700(a)(11)) or a hunting license (Penal Code § 3100(c)).

Unless the fiduciary falls within one of the above exemptions, under Penal Code § 31615 it will be a misdemeanor for the fiduciary to receive any firearm, except an antique firearm, unless they have a Firearm Safety Certificate.

So how do you get one? For GOLD members, we offer free testing, right in our office, for the Firearm Safety Certificate. You only pay the state $15 for issuance after you pass the test. (You can easily become a GOLD member for free by simply attending our free estate planning seminar and the handgun practice which immediately follows, and passing a basic skills test.)

Or, you could simply take the test at a local gun dealer and pay them $25. But they will probably sell you a gun before you walk out the door — maybe the wrong gun — because you won’t get the thousands of dollars worth of free training we offer. TRAIN BEFORE YOU BUY! (Maybe even rent for awhile.)

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