I’ve noticed that some gun safe dealers use the phrase “CA-DOJ Certified” in describing their products as if it were some sort of high form of governmental validation of superiority. It made me wonder just what the CA-DOJ was and what exactly constituted its approval.
So, the California Department of Justice has set regulatory standards for firearms, firearm security devices and gun safes, and because it is widely accepted that California regulations for environmental, product and safety specifications are among the most strenuous in the country (in the world?), many industries have used that state’s legislation as a benchmark to determine acceptable expectations for their products.
All fine and good, but what does it really mean? The regulations themselves can be found easily enough on the CA-DOJ website: http://www.ag.ca.gov/firearms/gunsafe.php -but upon reading one can see that a gun safe really only needs to be certified as an RSC (Residential Security Container), listed as such by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory, to meet the CA-DOJ standards. There are CA-DOJ certified safety devices (locks) and there are safes that meet CA-DOJ Regulatory Standards, but there are no CA-DOJ “certified” gun safes. You can have any safe as long as it meets the CA-DOJ standards, and the standards include being certified by an NRTL.
There are those who say that the DOJ safe requirements are only needed to exempt one from the requirement to purchase an approved safety device with each firearm purchase. So if you can prove to the satisfaction of the law and to the gun dealer that you, in essence, already have purchased an approved safety device (such as gun safe that meets CA-DOJ regulations) then you needn’t purchase another safety device.
Don’t buy a gun safe just because it’s touted to be “CA-DOJ certified” – just get something that works for your needs. There are certainly enough choices available on the market. What is truly important is that the gun safe you choose is sufficient to secure your valuable firearms from theft and accidental misuse.