Firearm Possession in Michigan: What You Need to Know

Firearm Possession in Michigan: What You Need to Know

The constitutional right to bear arms has been the subject of much controversy in recent years. The prevalence of school shootings and gun violence is something that has much of the country divided. There are those who believe guns should be banned or that the process of obtaining and keeping a firearm should be made much more difficult.

There are also citizens who call on their constitutional right to bear arms and feel that they are entitled to reserve that right.

Because of the frequency of crimes involving gun violence, many citizens feel that a firearm is necessary to protect themselves and their families. If you feel the need to carry a firearm to protect yourself and your loved ones, there are a number of regulations in the state of Michigan of which you should be aware.

Note: Because the regulations vary depending on whether the firearm is classified as a pistol or a long gun (over 26 inches in length) for the sake of brevity, the types of firearms discussed here is to be limited to pistols under 26 inches long.

Firearm Possession in Michigan

There are two ways of possessing a firearm in the United States and specifically within the state of Michigan. Open-carry refers to the practice of keeping a pistol on one’s person, where it is visible to the casual observer. Concealed Pistol License (CPL) allows the individual to carry a pistol on their person in a way that is not likely to be visible to casual observers. No license is required to open carry in Michigan, but a purchasing license is necessary.

The following are requirements for anyone wanting to apply for a purchasing license in the state of Michigan according to the Michigan Legislature:

  • Must be 18 or older to legally purchase a firearm from a private seller.
  • Must be 21 to purchase from a federally licensed dealer.
  • Must be a Michigan resident.

An application for a purchasing license must be completed at the local police or sheriff’s department. There are several steps/requirements that an individual must meet or complete in order for a license to be issued:

  • A history free of any criminal activity with disqualifying factors such as a restraining order for domestic violence or orders to undergo involuntary mental health treatment.
  • A minimum score of 70% correct on a Basic Pistol Safety questionnaire.
  • A notarized oath that he or she meets the statutory requirements to own a pistol.

The requirements for obtaining a CPL license include the aforementioned requirements for an open-carry license along with the following additional requirements. An individual wishing to procure a CPL must:

  • Be a citizen of the United States or a legal alien.
  • Be a Michigan resident for at least six months prior to date of application.
  • Have successfully completed a pistol safety training course.
  • Have never been convicted of a felony.
  • Have not been dishonorably-discharged from the United States Armed Forces.
  • Provide two references with complete contact information.
  • Pay a licensing fee of $105.

Laws vary from state-to-state and state-specific laws may have additional limitations not included under the federal law. Laws regarding legally keeping a firearm in a vehicle or crossing state lines while in possession of a firearm are specific and if violated could result in fines and/or imprisonment.

For a complete listing of all requirements for both purchasing licenses for open-carry and CPLs, please refer to the Michigan Legislature’s Firearm Laws of Michigan.

If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges for felon in possession of a firearm, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will fight diligently for your rights. The charges do not have to result in a conviction. Please contact my office today.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000