California’s Certified FSD Laboratories

Independent laboratories that test FSDs do standards compliance testing on a variety of equipment and materials for civilian, law enforcement, and defense-related industry. These labs have multiple accreditations and certifications to meet the needs of agencies such as the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Underwriters Laboratories (UL), and others. Only a handful of labs are licensed by California’s DOJ to provide testing of FSDs, and personnel who do testing are recertified every two years by a California DOJ representative.

Personnel in these labs often have backgrounds in materials engineering, chemistry, electrical engineering, and forensic investigation. On the surface, these laboratories would appear to have the right people for testing FSDs. However, California’s testing guidelines require that tests be performed by lab personnel with no skills in lock picking, which guarantees they will have no background in physical security.

Should a rare lab technician have an aptitude for security and give a lock box or gun lock a failing report, his work can be undone by another lab. Nothing in the approval process prohibits an importer or manufacturer from submitting a failed product to another lab for testing. Labs don’t ask if an FSD has failed testing elsewhere, and California’s DOJ doesn’t collect information on products that fail testing.