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Michigan Gun Rights

An Overview of Gun Laws in Michigan


Constitutional Right to Keep and Bear Arms?

Yes. Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.

Concealed Carry

Michigan is a shall-issue state, meaning that anyone who meets the qualifications for a concealed carry permit must be issued one. Permits are issued by county licensing boards and are valid for three years. The initial application cost is $55. Persons in Michigan who are not issued permits follows the routine list of prohibited persons, such as convicted felons and the mentally ill.

Applicants must successfully complete a firearms training course, a background check and be fingerprinted.

Michigan’s concealed carry permits are honored by the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Michigan honors permits from every state except Illinois, Vermont and Wisconsin, in effect honoring permits from every state that issues.

Castle Doctrine

Michigan statute permits the use of deadly force in defense of one’s self. However, there is a duty to retreat if an attack occurs outside the home. In 2002, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled in People v. Riddle that persons on their property but outside the home are not excused from an obligation to retreat. However, the Michigan legislature adopted a package of National Rifle Association-backed bills in 2006 that expanded the castle doctrine. Among them was a bill that extended a “stand your ground” clause to anywhere a person has a legal right to be, meaning there is essentially no longer a duty to retreat in Michigan.

Pro-Gun Provisions

Open carry is generally permissible in Michigan. One notable exception is carrying a weapon in a vehicle. Unless one has a concealed carry permit, Michigan law requires that guns carried in vehicles be unloaded and broken down, encased or otherwise inaccessible from the interior of the vehicle.

Michigan has a firearms preemption law that prevents county and municipal governments from enacting gun laws that are stricter than state law. The state also has a law protecting firing ranges.


Gun bans: None.

Waiting periods for gun purchases: None.

License or permit required to purchase guns: Proof of firearms safety training is required to purchase a handgun in Michigan. A handgun purchase requires that the buyer correctly answer 70% of the questions on a safety review questionnaire. Additionally, a permit is required to purchase a handgun within 30 days of a prior purchase.

Registration of guns: Handguns are required to be registered with the state. Persons who purchase handguns are required to have the gun inspected by local law enforcement and basic information recorded, such as their name, address and thumbprint.

Places in Michigan where carrying is prohibited, with or without a permit:

  • Schools
  • Day care centers
  • Sports arenas
  • Taverns or any establishment where the primary source of income is the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption.
  • Churches
  • Entertainment facilities with seating capacities of 2,500 or more.
  • Hospitals
  • Casinos

Additional Provisions or Restrictions

Michigan law prohibits anyone from carrying a gun if they’re under the influence of alcohol. The law is more restrictive than DUI standards; a person does not have to be legally intoxicated to be in violation of the law. Legal interpretations have suggested that a person not carry if they have had any alcohol at all.

Unlike many states, persons in Michigan at least 18 but younger than 21 can purchase handguns. However, those guns cannot be purchased from federally-licensed dealers, which are prohibited by federal law from selling handguns to anyone under the age of 21.

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