I grew up 90 miles north of there in the coastal range, I still have family there and go back often. +1 on calguns
Unfortunately laws are getting tighter, and what is legal now may not be at any point, or by an interpretation of a number or over zealous govt enforcers. Premit to buy ammo is needed, or will be soon (don't remember if it goes into effect jan or july). So all ammo purchases are tracked. You can't loan a gun to a friend to use, that has to go through a FFL transfer - if at the range with them he can shoot your gun, but he can't take it by himself - I love the geography, rivals anywhere in the country, but the politics have kept me in Texas
. Be very careful, especially in the Bay Area. Benefit of the doubt is not something you will get when it comes to firearms.
The assumed intention is that you are trying to break the law if you have one.
That said, I usually take guns with me when I travel and we go shooting. There is a free range in Oroville (hour or so north of Sacramento) that is 400-500 yards, public, no supervision or cost. Call own cease fires, etc. And most national forest land you can drive into the mountains and shoot since it is federally controlled.
Congrats on your job, I looked into that field a few years ago but was told I was too old, and I was still in my 30's.