Q: What class do I need to purchase a firearm?
You don't need to take a class but unless exempted, you must have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate (FSC). Having said that taking a class like our three hour Introduction to Firearms class is a great way to get started. You must present your FSC to the firearms dealer at the time you begin a transaction to purchase or acquire a firearm. To obtain an FSC you must score at least 75% (23 correct answers out of 30 questions) on the FSC Test covering firearm safety and basic firearms laws. The true/false and multiple choice test can be taken at most gun stores. The fee for taking the FSC test is twenty-five dollars ($25). The $25 fee entitles you to take the test twice if necessary. The FSC Study Guide is available to view or download and they also have a video tutorial. You can see more frequently asked questions regarding the FSC at https://oag.ca.gov/firearms/fscfaqs. When purchasing a firearm you also need to show proof of California residency. This CA DOJ FAQ lists some examples of what is and isn't acceptable proof of residency.
Q: How can I get a permit to carry a concealed firearm?
A Concealed Carry Weapons permit (CCW) is issued in California at the discretion of your local Sheriff. Unfortunately for potential applicants in the San Francisco bay area, very few are issued. There is a case working its way through the courts (Peruta v. San Diego County) that, if upheld, would require agencies to issue CCWs to anyone who passes a background check. It will likely be months (if not more than a year) before a final decision is rendered.