San Diego County Firearm Training Resources

What is #WhatTheGun?

WhatTheGun is your one-stop resource page for professional instructors in San Diego who teach classes specifically designed for new gun owners. Here, you can find locations, course descriptions, cost, and contact information for introductory firearms classes.
Showing 1 - 18 of 18
Basic Pistol 1
1440 Descanso Ave. , 92069, North County Shooting Center
Introduction to Firearms
929 E Main St. , 92021, AO Sword
Intro to Pistol
2937 Norman Strasse Rd , San Marcos, California 92069, United States
Families with Firearms
13550 Danielson St. , 92064, Poway Weapons and Gear
New Shooters Clinic - Full Day Course
235 W. Market St. , 92101, Tactical Hyve
Level 1 Defensive Handgun Class
4770 Ruffner St. , 92111, CCW USA
An Introduction To Your Firearm
1032 S Main Ave , 92028, Beebe Family Arms
Basic Pistol Course
2717 Loker Ave W Ste B , 92010, Gunther Guns
Handgun First Steps
13550 Danielson St. Poway , 92064, Poway Weapons and Gear
Introduction to Handguns
2082 Willow Glen Dr. , 92019, P2K
USCCA Basic Handgun
1020 Marron Valley Rd , Dulzura, California 91917, United States
NRA Women on Target
Valley Center, California 92082, United States
Get to Know Your Gun Class
7853 Balboa Avenue , 92111, The Gun Range San Diego
NRA Certified Basic Firearm
2082 Willow Glen Dr , El Cajon, California 92019, United States
1510 Morena Blvd San Diego , 92110, Discount Gun Mart
NRA Basics of Pistol Shooting
504 Alvardo Street # 207 , 92028, Defensive Tactics and Firearms
Combat Pistol 1.5
1020 Marron Valley Rd , 91917, Active Shooter Defense School
1510 Morena Blvd , 92110, Discount Gun Mart

Let’s talk basics!

SDCGO recommends that beginners start with ordering the book Decoding Firearms by John Petrolino. Decoding Firearms is a great educational tool and fantastic reference.  While you are waiting for it to arrive, check out our FAQs.  We put together some basic information that is not a substitute for a professional class by a certified instructor, but it will get you started.

1) Treat all guns as if they are loaded at all times (even if you know they are not loaded).

2) Keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot.

3) Never point any gun at anything that you are not willing to destroy.

4) Be aware of your target, its surroundings, and what is beyond.

Unless you have a Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) permit, transporting a firearm in public should be done with a closed, locked, firearms case. The firearm should be completely unloaded.

Pro Tip: get a hard-sided case that you can lock, put your unloaded firearm in the case, and lock the case. That way you can carry the locked case with the unloaded firearm inside, to your car, in your far, and from your car once you arrive.

Here is an example of a hard-sided, lockable case:

If you have children, you MUST store your firearms locked or in a safe. Children cannot have access to firearms, according to California law. Additionally, some cities (like the city of San Diego) have laws that require you store your firearm locked or locked up any time the firearm is not in your direct control. Here is an example of a safe that will secure your firearm, but still give you access to it in case of an emergency:

All ownership transfers in California must be done through a Federal Firearms License (FFL) professional. Among other things and for a fee, the FFL will:

  • Register your firearm with the State
  • Ensure you have passed the state mandated test for your California Firearm Safety Certificate
  • Hold the firearm for the California mandated 10-day wait period
  • Complete a background check on the buyer to make sure they are not legally prohibited from owning a firearm.

To buy or sell a firearm from someone who is looking to sell you their firearms, meet at a gun shop and let the shop process the transfer.

Generally, if you want to carry a loaded firearm on you for protection, you must have a Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) permit. CCWs are issued by the sheriff and there is a bit of a process, but SDCGO has made the process easy to follow. Check out our resources page for details: www.SDCGO.org/CCW