Michigan Gun Laws

Gun Laws in Michigan

Unlike other states, Michigan does not require a permit to purchase shotguns or rifles but does require a permit to purchase handguns. No registration is necessary for shotguns and rifles but it is necessary for handguns.

Michigan LawsShotgun and rifle owners are not required to license their shotguns, handguns, and rifles, however. Permits are not necessary to carry shotguns or rifles but are needed to carry handguns and other concealed weapons. The state of Michigan states that minors under the age of eighteen are not allowed to purchase any form of handgun, rifle, or shotgun, nor are any individuals who are under indictment or individuals who have been convicted of felonies.

An individual must have a license allowing him or her to purchase a handgun before a purchase can take place through a private seller or a dealer. This kind of license can be obtained in a city through the chief of police or in an outer area through a county sheriff.

To be eligible to obtain a license an individual must be eighteen years or older, must be a United States citizen, must be a Michigan resident, must not have any past felony convictions, must not have entered into a mental hospital for insanity reasons, and must have scored a minimum of seventy percent on the review questionnaire for gun safety. This license will need to have three copies made at the time of a firearm purchase. A description of the handgun will be recorded along with the buyer and seller’s signatures noting the presence of the needed license. Copies will then be made and kept by the seller.

Michigan is found in the Great Lakes Region of the U.S., and is bordered to the north by four of the five Great Lakes. Indiana and Ohio border Michigan to the south, with water separating Michigan from Canada on the east side and Wisconsin to the west. Michigan has a large tourist economy, and is known for its involvement in the car industry. Open carry of a handgun is legal in Michigan even without a valid license to carry.

Michigan Gun Possession

When an individual acquires a handgun, he or she is obligated by Michigan law to bring the gun to the county sheriff or the chief of police in his or her area. The gun will then be inspected and a description taken for police records. A thumbprint will also be taken along with the owner’s name.

Even though permits are not necessary for shotguns or rifles and permits can be obtained for handguns, certain stipulations apply for where firearms are allowed. Possessing a firearm in a church building, a court of law, a hospital, a school, a financial institution, a theater, a restaurant where liquor is served, a sports arena, or a day care center is illegal under all circumstances.

No Required Licensing

When a firearm is unloaded and in a protective container, no license is needed to transport or carry the gun. However the transport must be for lawful purposes. Michigan citizens are also permitted to have firearms in their homes or business places without first obtaining a license. This is also the case for carrying a firearm on personal land.

Possessing and carrying an unloaded firearm while in a protective container is also lawful in Michigan but only if precautions are taken. When transferring a firearm, the gun must be fully unloaded, encased, broken down, and carried in a vehicle trunk. All law enforcement officers are allowed by Michigan law to carry handguns without licensing.

Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Michigan generally prohibits carrying firearms in vehicles without a permit. Someone without a permit may only carry a firearm in their vehicle if it is unloaded and secured in a locked container in an area of the car that is not readily accessible (such as the trunk).

Self-defense Laws

Michigan has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws. There is no duty to retreat from any place You have a legal right to be. You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, rape, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into a dwelling or business, or to stop an aggressor from removing another person from a dwelling, business or occupied motor vehicle against their will.

Carry in Restaurants That Serve Alcohol

Yes. Michigan has no laws prohibiting the carrying of firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol. You can carry in a restaurant that serves alcohol. Places like Fridays or Chili’s unless they have a “No Guns” sign, then it is suggested that You not carry into the establishment. This does not include the bar or bar area of a restaurant. You can carry Your firearm into a restaurant that serves alcohol, but You are prohibited from consuming alcohol while carrying a firearm.

Open Carry

Open carry is legal with restrictions. You must have a valid permit/license to carry a loaded handgun in a vehicle in Michigan. For residents of Michigan without a CPL, You must carry a firearm registered to You. For non-residents, if You do not have a permit/license from Your state of residence, concealed and/or open carry is prohibited. Those who open carry without a valid permit/license to carry cannot carry on the property of businesses that sell alcohol and this includes grocery stores that sell alcohol.

Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Michigan will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state has a licensing scheme, which is consistent with Michigan’s:

“An individual who is not a resident of this state is not required to obtain a license under this section if all of the following conditions apply: (a) The individual is licensed in his or her state of residence to purchase, carry, or transport a pistol. (b) The individual is in possession of the license described in subdivision (a). (c) The individual is the owner of the pistol he or she possesses, carries, or transports. (d) The individual possesses the pistol for a lawful purpose … (e) The individual is in this state for a period of 180 days or less and does not intend to establish residency in this state.”

Criminal Provisions

Under Michigan law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • A nonresident carrying a concealed weapon pursuant to another state’s license must present the license upon demand of a police officer
  • A school or school property (A parent or legal guardian may carry a concealed weapon while in his or her vehicle while on school property, if the vehicle is on school grounds for the purpose of picking up or dropping off his or her child from school.)
  • A public or private child care center, day care center, or child-placing agency
  • Any place where the owner of the property verbally states that guns are not allowed on the property
  • A sports arena, stadium, or other large entertainment facility (with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more)
  • A bar or tavern licensed where liquor is sold and consumed on the premises
  • On the property of a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship (unless the presiding official permit carrying on that property)
  • A hospital
  • In a dormitory or classroom of a community college, college, or university.
  • A permit is required in order to purchase a handgun, and You must pass a background check to obtain this permit

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