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Michigan's Concealed Pistol Law - FAQs

This information is provided, as a public service, for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be relied upon as legal authority for the Michigan firearms laws. You should consult with a private attorney or your local Michigan county prosecutor for a legal interpretation or any updates of the Michigan statutes.

Concealed Pistol License (CPL) & Renewal 
Information for CPL Holders 
Reciprocity for Michigan CPL's 
Concealed Weapons (Non-CPL Holders) 
Pistol Registration, Purchase, and Transfer 
Firearms Rights - Persons convicted of crimes or subject to a PPO 
Other Weapons (Non-Pistols) 
Federal Firearms Laws 
Federal Firearms Dealer Questions 
Firearms Related Questions 
Miscellaneous 



Concealed Pistol License (CPL) & Renewal 

 

1.  What are the requirements to receive a concealed pistol permit? 

MCL 28.425b    Please select the below website for an outlined description. Please see: Requirements to Obtain a Permit 

2.  How do I renew my concealed pistol permit? 

MCL 28.425l    Please see:  Permit Renewal   for an outlined description for renewal procedures. 

3. How long is the Concealed Pistol License course that I took valid?  

MCL 28.425j  specifies what conditions must be met in the course required to get a Concealed Pistol License. One of those requirements is that the program provides a certificate of completion stating the program complies with the requirements of this section. There is not an expiration date on the training. However, your local county gun board will review the training certificate to see if is acceptable.

4. I received my original Concealed Pistol License after July 1, 2001 and have since moved to another county.  Do I need to reapply in the new county?  

No. The Concealed Pistol License is a state license and a change of county residency does not change the status.  However, when your license expires, the renewal of that license should occur in your new county of residence. 

5.  How old do I have to be in order to apply for a concealed pistol permit? 

MCL 28.421    Twenty-one (21) years of age.

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Information for CPL Holders 

 

1.  What must a CPL permit holder do when "stopped" by police? 

Please See: Encounters with Police. 

2.  Are there any places where I may not carry a concealed pistol? 

MCL 28.425o    Anyone licensed to carry a concealed pistol from Michigan or another state shall not carry a concealed pistol in any of the pistol free zones. For a complete list, please see: Pistol Free Areas .  Under Federal law, firearms are also restricted in federal facilities. A federal facility means "a building or part thereof owned or leased by the federal government, where federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties."  This includes facilities such as post offices and federal courts. 

3.  When may a concealed pistol be seized? 

MCL 28.425g .   A pistol carried in violation of this act is subject to seizure and forfeiture in the same manner that property is subject to seizure and forfeiture under sections 4701 to 4709 of the revised judicature act of 961, 1961 PA 236, MCL  600.4701  to  600.4709 . This section does not apply if the violation is a state civil infraction under section 5f unless the individual fails to present his or her license within the 45-day period described in that section. 

4. Does my valid Concealed Pistol License allow me to carry a concealed pistol in a state park?  

Yes.  MCL 324.504  states that the DNR cannot promulgate or enforce a rule that prohibits a ccw holder from carrying on property under the control of the DNR. 


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Concealed Weapons (Non-CPL Holders) 

 

1.  If I do not have a CPL permit, may I transport my pistol in a motor vehicle?  

MCL 750.231a   A person is permitted to transport a pistol for a lawful purpose if the owner or occupant of the vehicle is the registered owner of the firearm and the pistol is unloaded, in a closed case designed for the storage of firearms, and in the trunk of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the pistol may be in the passenger compartment of the vehicle provided the pistol is unloaded, in a closed case designed for the storage of firearms, and inaccessible to the occupants of the vehicle. 

2.  I work as a security guard. Does my profession entitle me to carry a concealed pistol without a license in Michigan as required by my employer? 

MCL 750.227    No. You can only carry a pistol while on duty on the premises of your employer and only if it is exposed. 

If you wish to carry a pistol concealed, you must obtain a concealed pistol license through the county gun board. 

28.425n(2)b   This does not prohibit an employer from prohibiting the carrying of the concealed pistol by an employee while in the course of his or her employment with that employer. 

3.  Do I need a concealed pistol permit to carry my pistols while walking through the woods near my cabin in Michigan? If not, are there any restrictions on how or where the gun is carried? 

MCL 750.227  allows you to carry a concealed pistol if you are in your home, place of business, or on other land possessed by you.  If you do not possess the land, you may lawfully carry the pistol as long as you carry it non-concealed.  Michigan appellate courts have held complete invisibility is not required for the weapon to be considered concealed.  The weapon is concealed if it is not observed by those casually observing the person as people do in the ordinary and usual associations of life.  Attorney General's opinion #3158 dated February 14, 1945, states a pistol carried in a holster or belt outside of the clothing in plain view is not considered concealed, but carrying under a coat would constitute concealed.

Additionally, the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act prohibits against carrying or transporting a firearm in areas frequented by wild animals and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has rules and regulations regarding where firearms are prohibited on certain land.  Contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources with any questions you may have regarding these laws, rules, and regulations.


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Pistol Registration, Purchase, and Transfer for Michigan Residents 

 

1.  Are there any fees for the following Michigan forms? 

License to Purchase:    MCL 28.423  was repealed by PA 381 of 2000 eliminating the $5 processing fee for obtaining a License to Purchase.  However, you may be charged a fee to notarize the application for a License to Purchase.  MCL 28.422   A local police or sheriff may charge up to $1.00 for the cost of providing, to the owner, a copy of information that was entered in the pistol entry database.                                           

Pistol Sales Record:  MCL 28.422a A local police or sheriff may charge up to $1.00 for the cost of providing, to the owner, a copy of information that was entered in the pistol entry database.

License to Carry a Concealed Pistol:   MCL 28.425b(5)  The application fee is $105 payable to the county clerk at the time the application is filed. Fingerprinting at the county sheriff's office is included in this cost.  If you choose to be fingerprinted by a local police agency, that agency may charge an additional fee up to $15 for fingerprinting costs. 

2.  I have a replica of an antique pistol. Is a License to Purchase or Pistol Sales Record required in Michigan? Is it necessary that I obtain a Michigan Concealed Pistols License? 

MCL 28.422  No, antique pistols made before 1898 and replicas of antiques that use black powder, matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap or similar type of ignition system do not require a License to Purchase.  The pistol is still subject to all concealed pistol licensing laws. 

3.  How old do I have to be in order to legally own a pistol in Michigan? 

MCL 28.422     Eighteen (18) years of age.  However, Federal law prohibits a federally licensed firearms dealer from selling a pistol to anyone under the age of twenty-one (21). 

4.  I lost my Michigan pistol registration (Safety Inspection Certificate). How do I go about getting another one? 

The Safety Inspection requirement in the law, previously MCL 28.429  has been repealed.  As long as the gun was previously registered in your name and is on file with the Michigan State Police, you are not required to complete any additional paperwork.  It is not a requirement that you carry your Safety Inspection Certificate or License to Purchase on you when carrying, using or transporting the gun, once 30 days from the date of purchase has expired.  There are no Safety Inspection Certificate forms available to issue you a new one.  You may contact your local law enforcement agency and request a copy of the information entered in the pistol entry database relative to your registration/license.  They may charge up to $1.00.  Or, you may make a request through the Michigan State Police, Freedom of Information Unit, P.O. Box 30634, Lansing, Michigan 48909-0634, for a copy of your registration. 

5.  My uncle had a .357 magnum revolver registered in his name when he died. My brother has had custody of the gun but now wants to give it to me. What procedure do I follow to gain legal possession of this gun in Michigan, since my uncle obviously cannot sign it over to me? 

MCL 28.422    Michigan statutes provide for the personal representative of the estate or next of kin having authority to dispose of the pistol to sign the License to Purchase as the seller. 

6.  I am giving my registered pistols to my son who lives in another state. How do I get the pistols out of my name? 

There are no provisions in the statute; however, send a letter to the Michigan State Police, Firearms Records Unit, P.O. Box 30634, Lansing, Michigan 48909-0634, advising of the transaction. The letter must include a description of the pistols, your son's name and address, and the date of transaction in order for the Firearms Records Unit to update their records. Your son must comply with the weapons laws of his own state.  There are federal restrictions regarding transfer of ownership across state lines.  

7.  I have just moved to Michigan from another state. How much time do I have to register my pistols? 

MCL 28.422   Upon establishing legal residency, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement agency, pass the basic safety questionnaire, and complete a License to Purchase. 

8. I found a pistol in an old house that I was fixing up. Can I get it registered in my name?   

You should take it to your local police agency and they can check on the history of the pistol. They will, of course, check to make sure it is not stolen, and also for any previous registered owner. If there was a previous owner, the agency is required to send a letter to that person to determine whether they have any interest or legal claim to the pistol. If the previous owner does not respond within 6 months, has no interest in the pistol, or is not eligible to possess a pistol, the department may release it to you, providing you comply with MCL 28.422 or MCL 28.422a in obtaining a License to Purchase or Pistol Sales Record. If the owner responds, the property shall be returned to the legal owner when the law enforcement agency is reasonably satisfied of that ownership.

9.  I inherited a pistol from my uncle. Do I just take it in to my local police agency to get a License to Purchase? 

MCL 28.422   Unless you have a valid Concealed Pistol License issued after July 1, 2001, you must obtain a License to Purchase first. When the owner of a pistol is deceased, the statutes provide that the next of kin or personal representative of the estate has the authority to sign as seller.  If you are the next of kin or personal representative, you may sign as seller indicating "Estate of …" and also as purchaser. 


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Firearms Rights - Persons convicted of crimes or subject to a PPO 

 

1.  I was arrested for making threats with a gun against my wife. As part of my probation the judge ordered the gun turned over to the state police. Can it be returned to me, and, if so, when can I claim it? 

MCL 28.434 and  MCL 750.239    The statute requires weapons carried, possessed or used contrary to the Concealed Weapons Act and the Firearms Section of the penal code to be forfeited to the Director of the Department of State Police. Prior to disposition, the forfeited weapons are retained for a reasonable length of time pending any possible appeal or litigation. There are no provisions in the act for any other disposition. 

2. Is it possible to have my felony record from 20 years ago cleared so I can purchase a firearm? 

MCL 780.621  Allows a person to apply to have their felony conviction set-aside if it is their only conviction. If/when the set-aside is granted, you would be eligible to purchase or possess a firearm. 

MCL 750.224f  If the felony conviction was "non-specified", you would be eligible to possess a firearm eight years after the date of conviction or confinement and 3 years after release from probation or parole, whichever is the later date, if that date is before July 1, 2001. If the date is after July 1, 2001, only a set-aside, expungement, or pardon would allow you to possess a firearm. 

If the felony conviction was "specified", you must either have been granted a restoration of your firearms rights by your local county gun board prior to July 1, 2001, or have a set-aside, expungement or pardon. A "specified" felony is one in which 1 or more of following circumstances exist: An element of that felony is the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or that by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense. An element of that felony is the unlawful manufacture, possession, importation, exportation, distribution, or dispensing of a controlled substance. An element of that felony is the unlawful possession or distribution of a firearm. An element of that felony is the unlawful use of an explosive. The felony is burglary of an occupied dwelling, or breaking and entering an occupied dwelling, or arson. 

3. There has been a personal protection order issued against me. Does that prohibit me from buying any firearm? Does it affect the guns that I already own? 

MCL 28.422  prohibits you from obtaining a License to Purchase a pistol if you have received notice of the Order and had an opportunity for a hearing.  If the judge included in the order that you are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, then it would affect the firearms you already own. 


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Other Weapons (Non-Pistols) 

 

1.  In Michigan, can I carry a self-defense spray in my car or on my person for protection? 

MCL 750.224d    Yes, but only if it is either: 

  • Not more than 35 grams of any combination of orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile and inert ingredients (CS gas); or 
  • A solution containing not more than 10% oleoresin capsicum (pepper spray) and is used in the protection of your person or property which would justify the use of physical force. It cannot be sold to a minor. 

2.  In Michigan, can I carry tear gas or mace ("CN gas") in my car or on my person for protection? 

MCL 750.224d    No, under the statute and according to an Attorney General's opinion, a private citizen cannot possess tear gas or mace. 

3.  I recently purchased a double-edged survival knife. Does Michigan law allow me to carry this in my vehicle? 

MCL 750.227    No. A dagger, dirk, stiletto, or double-edged non-folding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, cannot be carried concealed on or about a person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in their own home, place of business or on other land possessed by the person. 

4.  Is it illegal to have a knife with a blade over 3 inches in my possession? 

MCL 750.226   No. Michigan law specifies that a person, with intent to use the knife unlawfully against another, shall not go armed with a knife having a blade over 3 inches in length. 

5.  Is a paint ball pistol required to be registered in Michigan? 

Upon initial review, it has not been found that a paint ball pistol falls under the definition of a dangerous weapon or firearm. Therefore, is not required at this time to be registered. 

6.  Is a flare gun used as a signaling device on a watercraft required to be registered in Michigan? 

MCL 28.432b   No.   

7. Do pellet pistols have to be registered? 

MCL 28.421  Although, there is an occasional misconception that pellet pistols only require registration if they are over .177 caliber, that caliber designation only applies to guns made exclusively for propelling BB's. A pellet pistol, does fall under the definition of a firearm, and is subject to all License to Purchase, and Concealed Pistol License requirements. 

8. Is there anything that prohibits possession of Ninja-type sticks, brass knuckles or billy clubs? 

MCL 750.224 prohibits the manufacture, sale, offering for sale or possession of a blackjack, billy, metallic knuckles, sand club, sand bag or bludgeon. It does not specifically list Ninja-type sticks. However, they could be considered a dangerous weapon, depending on the use. 


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Federal Firearms Laws 

 

1.  Who can I contact with questions concerning federal regulations on pistols?  

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Area Supervisor, Compliance, 1155 Brewery Park Boulevard, Suite 300A, Detroit, Michigan 48207-2602. Phone: (313) 259-8050. 

2.  I am moving to California. I have a pistol registered in my name in Michigan. Is it legal for me to carry this gun in the car with me to my new location? 

The May 19, 1986, revision of the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 now allows for transportation of pistols from one state to another providing the pistol is legally possessed in the state of origin, and possession is permitted in the state of destination. It must be transported unloaded and in a locked container inaccessible to the occupants. 

3.  My father-in-law, who lives in Georgia, has two firearms which he wants to give me. Can I legally go to Georgia and bring the guns back to Michigan? 

No. The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 generally prohibits the transportation into or receipt in the state where a person resides of a firearm obtained outside of that state. The transfer of the firearms would be lawful if your father-in-law sends the firearms via common carrier (such as UPS) to a licensed firearms dealer in Michigan. The Michigan firearms dealer can then transfer the firearms to you providing you meet all statutory requirements. If the firearm is a pistol, a License to Purchase or valid Concealed Pistol License is required. 

4.  Can I legally possess a fully-automatic firearm in Michigan? 
  

Under the Federal Gun Control Act, individuals may only possess those fully-automatic firearms that were lawfully possessed before May 19, 1986. The Attorney General has concluded that a person who has been authorized to possess a fully automatic firearm by the federal Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is deemed licensed and may lawfully possess that firearm in Michigan. 

5. Is it okay if I have a pistol with a 15 round magazine? 

Yes, as federal law 18 USC Sec. 922 effective September 30, 1994 which prohibited an individual from having a firearm with a magazine holding over 10 rounds, was repealed effective September 1, 2004.

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Federal Firearms Dealer Questions 

 

1.  Are gun dealers in Michigan licensed; and if so, who licenses them?  

Yes, by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. Michigan has no law specifically to license dealers; however, dealers must obtain a Michigan Sales Tax License and comply with Michigan License to Purchase, trigger lock, and pistol sales record requirements. 

2.  In Michigan, can I, as a licensed Federal Firearms Dealer, legally transport pistols which I acquire through purchase or trade without a Michigan Concealed Pistols License based on possession of the federal license? 

MCL 28.432a    Only to and from the place of purchase to place of business. The pistol may be transported unloaded in a wrapper or container in the trunk of the vehicle. The pistol may be transported unloaded in a wrapper or container in the passenger compartment of a vehicle which does not have a trunk if it is not readily accessible to the occupants. 

Per U.S. Gun Control Act, Part 178 of Title 27, bear in mind the federal license confers no right or privilege to conduct business contrary to state law or other law. The holder of a federal license is not by reason of such a license, immune from punishment in violation of the provisions of any state law or other law. 

3.  I have a Class III Federal License to sell certain types of fully-automatic pistols and machine guns. Can I legally sell these firearms in Michigan? 

Under the National Firearms Act, only those firearms which have been previously registered in the National Firearms Register and Transfer Record maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives may be lawfully transferred to a person who is qualified to receive such firearms.

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Firearms Related Questions 

 

1. Is it legal to carry a visible pistol in public? 

Although MCL 750.227 restricts carrying a pistol concealed on your person or in a vehicle, there is no statute that specifically prohibits carrying a visible pistol. MCL 750.234d states that you cannot possess any firearm in a depository financial institution, a church or other house of religious worship, court, theatre, sports arena, day care center, hospital or an establishment licensed under the Michigan liquor control act, unless that possession is with the permission of the owner or his/her agent of the entity.

2. Can a resident of another state legally possess a pistol in Michigan? 

If you are a non-resident of Michigan with a valid concealed pistol permit from your home state, Michigan will recognize your permit (MCL 28.432 & MCL 28.432a). However, you must carry in conformance with any and all restrictions appearing on the permit. You are subject to Michigan's concealed pistol law including but not limited to restrictions on where a concealed pistol may be carried. Without a CPL, a non-resident may not have a pistol in Michigan.

3. Is an individual required to carry a copy of their Safety Inspection Certificate with them at all times? 

Michigan law does not require a person to have a copy of their certificate with their pistol after it has been registered; nor does the law require that a person keep a copy.  As of January 2009, Safety Inspection Certificates are no longer issued.

4.  How should long-guns be legally transported? 

MCL 750.227d describes that any firearm other than a pistol can only be transported in a motor vehicle if it is unloaded and is one or more of the following: taken down, enclosed in a case, carried in the trunk of the vehicle, or inaccessible from the interior of the vehicle. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or a fine of not more than $100 or both. 


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Miscellaneous 

 

1.  My pistol, along with the Michigan registration (Safety Inspection Certificate, License to Purchase or Pitsol Sales Record) was stolen and I need to provide my insurance company and the police agency with the description of my gun, what should I do? 

You can request the information through the Michigan State Police, Freedom of Information Unit, P.O. Box 30634, Lansing, Michigan 48909-0634 for which there is a $10.00 fee or you can request a Public Query at your local police agency or at Michigan State Police Firearms Records Unit.  They may charge up to $1.00 for this service.  The Firearms Records Unit will look up the information and provide it directly to the agency where you reported the gun stolen at no charge, if requested.

2.  What are the requirements or criteria that cause weapons to be forfeited to the State of Michigan? 

MCL 28.434 and  MCL 750.239    Any pistol, weapon or device possessed, carried or used contrary to the Penal Code requires forfeiture to the Director of the Department of State Police. This includes shotguns, rifles, knives, clubs, or any article used as a weapon. 

3. Is it okay if I loan my pistol to a friend? 

MCL 28.432   An individual can carry, possess, use or transport a pistol belonging to another individual, if the pistol is properly licensed under the Act, and the individual carrying, possessing, using or transporting the pistol has obtained a license to carry a pistol concealed permit from Michigan. 

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