Criminal Justice Information: Michigan Gun Laws

Michigan is an Open Carry State But You Should Know What that Means

If you own or carry a gun, make sure you understand the law
Michigan is an open carry state. What that means is that if you want to walk around like John Wayne or a gunslinger in a Western movie, you have that right. But the gun must be visible. So if you have a gun strapped to your hip, that’s OK. On the other hand if you put on a coat or get into a car, you must have a CPL or Concealed License Permit.

A recent case in Birmingham demonstrates this right to carry a gun.
On one Saturday night, a young man grabbed his rifle and walked on the sidewalk outside a bar on Old Woodward. Someone called the police and he was charged. The gun was visible and was easily seen. Ultimately this young man was found not guilty when he took his case before a jury. The jury concluded, that under Michigan Law, he had done nothing wrong and the charges against him were dismissed. Now, on any given Saturday afternoon, you are apt to see a group of people walking in Shane Park, in the middle of Birmingham, sporting firearms.

When a Weapon Becomes Concealed
If you want to carry a concealed weapon, you must have a CPL or Concealed License Permit. Let’s say that after walking around with your visible gun, you get cold and put on a coat or hop into your car. Under Michigan Law, the gun you were “open carrying” now becomes concealed. Even if the gun is on the front seat and visible to anyone who looks, the gun is still concealed. If you are in a vehicle and don’t have a CPL unless the gun is unloaded and locked in a gun safe in the trunk or, in the case of an SUV or pickup truck, located behind the rear seats or in the bed of the pickup locked in a gun safe, it is considered a concealed weapon.

Know the Law
The United States Supreme Court has determined that the US Constitution gives individuals the right to bear arms. But the same Court has also ruled that States do have some authority to limit who owns guns and how they can be carried. Different States have enacted different laws in regard to this. As a gun owner, it is your responsibility to learn what is legal and what is not. If you own a gun, take a gun safety class. Understand the laws in regard to carrying a weapon or consult a lawyer who can explain what is permitted. Being charged with CCW or Carrying a Concealed Weapon is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison. Plus if you are convicted, you will have felony on your record.

The Law Office of James G. Schmier, PLLC is a Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving DUI and Family Law and Divorce law firm that provides legal representation in Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County and throughout Michigan including these Michigan cities:

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