The following information is paraphrased.
- All “box” type devices (devices to fully contain and enclose a firearm e.g. pistol or gun safe) shall be tested with a small handgun having a primed case with the firing chamber closed inside the FSD. Lock boxes designed to accommodate long guns must be tested with at least one long gun placed within the container in addition to the small handgun.
- The picking or manipulating test to the lock cylinder in the FSD shall resist picking with the use of jumbo and #1 size paper clips, and small screwdrivers that fit in the keyway for two minutes each. Combination locks shall resist manual manipulation for two minutes. Time shall be counted only while hands are picking or manipulating the lock.
- Tests shall be performed by a tester with no specialized training or skills in lock picking or manipulation (e.g. locksmith training or the use of reference guides on lock picking or manipulation). Lock failure occurs if the lock mechanism can be disengaged during manipulation time (excludes the correct combination).
- The shock test uses a shock impact fixture. Drop a kilogram weight from one meter + one centimeter, five times to the top of the FSD body aligned to attack the keyway or combination lock using a chucked blade-type (screwdriver) tool.
- Failure occurs if the FSD is disabled by the shock test. Failure also occurs if following the shock test, subsequent manipulation of the gun safe with an eight- to 10-inch long screwdriver with a 1/4 to 5/8-inch flathead end for 15 seconds allows the tester to open the FSD.
- The plug pulling test attempts to dislodge the plug from the cylinder of the lock by drilling a hole to accommodate a tapping screw. This test does not test the lock’s ability to withstand drilling
In addition to the above tests, the Laboratory shall perform the following tests on a model of each FSD. This requirement does not apply to any FSD that weighs more than 75 pounds or has a combined length and girth 110 inches or more.
The FSD shall be dropped from a height of one meter + one centimeter onto a slab of concrete. The drop distance shall be measured from the lowermost portion of the FSD. The FSD shall be dropped with the locking mechanism facing directly up, and with the locking mechanism facing directly down.
Failure of any test occurs if the FSD is disabled or the firearm contained within the enclosed container discharges. A failure of any test constitutes a failure of the complete test.
The CDOJ certification test changes from time to time. Safes that have already passed testing are not required to retest. I have been in contact with a gun safe manufacturer. According to the manufacturer, three boxes are sent for testing. Two are destroyed and one is kept.
According to the CDOJ, a “long-gun safe” category has the additional restriction. If it does not satisfy the requirements of the CDOJ, it must carry a conspicuous and legible warning label in English and Spanish as follows:
“Warning: This gun safe does not meet the safety standards for gun safes specified in California Penal Code Section 12088.2. It does not satisfy the requirements in California Penal Code Section 12088.1, which mandates that all firearms sold in California be accompanied by a firearms safety device or proof of ownership, as required by law, of a gun safe that meets the Section 12088.2 minimum safety standards developed by the California Attorney General.”
This label requirement is for long-gun safes manufactured within California, kept for commercial sale or commercially sold. Failure to include the required warning with a long-gun safe is punishable.
If the FSD manufacturers want a label on the unit, they are responsible for the design.
Our chart list examples of cabinets, gun cabinets, lock boxes, safes and wall safes by manufacturer and model of FSD that are certified. At press time, 941 devices are in the database.
Those safe manufacturers and dealers who disregard the code are in violation, which increases from a civil fine up to $500 to a fine up to $5,000 and if a licensed firearm dealer, permanent ineligibility from selling firearms.
A safe rating label indicates the minimum standards to which a safe has been rated. Not all brands of the safes in a specific category offer the same protection.