Legal Frequently Asked Questions


       Note: No member of Firearm Fluency is a lawyer and as such all links and excerpts provided and any coorespondences relating to the law are for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Should you need legal advice, please contact us and we can send contact information for a number of Michigan firearm attorneys.



What is open carry?
What is brandishing?
Where can I legally open carry without a Concealed Pistol License?
How do I transport my handgun without a Concealed Pistol License?
How do I transport my long gun?
How do I obtain a Michigan Concealed Pistol License?
Where can I legally conceal carry in Michigan?
Where can I legally conceal carry outisde of Michigan?
What is preemption?
When do I have to disclose that I have a firearm?
Can I carry a gun and wear a mask?
Can I carry pepper spray?



1. What is open carry?

        Open carry is when a firearm is not concealed on or about a person. According to the Michigan Court of Appeals, concealment means that the firearm is “not discernible by the ordinary observation of [those] coming in contact with [the accused], casually observing him, as people do in the ordinary and usual associations of life.” (People v. Johnnie W. Jones)


2. What is brandishing?

        Per MCL 750.222 , brandishing is defined as when one is "waving or displaying the firearm in a threatening manner".


3. Where can I legally open carry without a Concealed Pistol License?

        Per various federal laws and MCL 750.234d, you can lawfully open carry in all places in Michigan except:
          -All federally owned, leased, or rented properties (including parking lots!)
          -Indian Reservations (may vary by Tribal Law)
          -Sterile areas of commercial airports
          -Within 1000 feet of all K-12 school properties
          -Jails and lockups
          -Casinos
          -A depository financial institution or a subsidiary or affiliate of a depository financial institution.
          -A church or other house of religious worship.
          -A court.
          -A theatre.
          -A sports arena.
          -A day care center.
          -A hospital.
          -An establishment licensed under the Michigan liquor control act (even if they are not selling alcohol at that specific location!)


4. How do I transport my handgun without a Concealed Pistol License?

        Per MCL 750.231a(d)(e) ...the pistol is unloaded in a closed case designed for the storage of firearms in the trunk of the vehicle. (e)...the pistol is unloaded in a closed case designed for the storage of firearms in a vehicle that does not have a trunk and is not readily accessible to the occupants of the vehicle..."


5. How do I transport my long gun?

        Per MCL 750.227d ...the firearm is unloaded and is 1 or more of the following:
          -taken down
          -enclosed in a case
          -carried in the trunk of the vehicle
          -inaccessible from the interior of the vehicle...."


6. How do I obtain a Michigan Concealed Pistol License?

        To get a Concealed Pistol License in Michigan, one must
           -Complete a pistol training or safety program as described in MCL 28.415j in the preceding five years
           -Be at least 21 years old, be a citizen or legal alien of the US
           -Be a legal resident of Michigan for at least six months preceding the application (this can be waived if you had a current out of state concealed pistol license from out of state at the time of establishing residency)
           -Not subject to any of the following restrictions:
              -Involuntary hospitalization or involuntary alternative treatment
              -Legal incapacitation
              -Personal protection order
              -Bond or conditional release prohibiting purchase or possession of a firearm
              -Finding of not guilty by reason of insanity
              -Prohibited from possessing, using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving, or distributing a firearm under MCL 750.224f
              -Convicted or adjudicated as a juvenile of a felony in Michigan or elsewhere, and a felony charge against the applicant is not pending in Michigan or elsewhere at the time he or she applies for a CPL
              -Dishonorable discharge from the armed forces
              -Convicted or adjudicated as a juvenile of a misdemeanor violation in the eight years immediately preceding the date of the application and a charge for a misdemeanor violation is not pending against the applicant in this state or elsewhere at the time he or she applies for a CPL of 45 different, specific misdemeanors
              -Convicted or adjudicated as a juvenile of a misdemeanor violation in the eight years immediately preceding the date of the application and a charge for a misdemeanor violation is not pending against the applicant in this state or elsewhere at the time he or she applies for a CPL of 24 different, specific misdemeanors
           -Have not been found guilty but mentally ill of any crime, and has not offered a plea of not guilty of, or been acquitted of, any crime by reason of insanity
           -Is not currently and has never been subject to an order of involuntary commitment in an inpatient or outpatient setting due to mental illness
           -Not have a diagnosed mental illness at the time the application is made that includes an assessment that the individual presents a danger to himself or herself or to another, regardless of whether he or she is receiving treatment for that illness
           -Not be under a court order of legal incapacity in this state or elsewhere
           -Have a valid state-issued driver’s license or personal identification card


7. Where can I legally conceal carry in Michigan?

        Per various federal laws and MCL 28.425o you can lawfully conceal carry in all places in Michigan except:
          -All federally owned, leased, or rented properties (including parking lots!)
          -Indian Reservations (may vary by Tribal Law)
          -Sterile areas of commercial airports
          -Jails and lockups
          -Casinos
          -A school or school property except that a parent or legal guardian of a student of the school is not precluded from carrying a concealed pistol while in a vehicle on school property, if he or she is dropping the student off at the school or picking up the student from the school
          -A public or private child care center or day care center, public or private child caring institution, or public or private child placing agency
          -A sports arena or stadium
          -A bar or tavern,where the primary source of income of the business is the sale of alcoholic liquor by the glass and consumed on the premises.
          -Any property or facility owned or operated by a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship (unless the presiding official or officials permit the carrying of concealed pistol on that property or facility)
          -An entertainment facility with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more individuals that the individual knows or should know has a seating capacity of 2,500 or more individuals or that has a sign above each public entrance stating in letters not less than 1-inch high a seating capacity of 2,500 or more individuals
          -A hospital
          -A dormitory or classroom of a community college, college, or university.


8. Where can I legally conceal carry outisde of Michigan?

        Other than where federally restricted, this would depend on the state(s) travelled to and through based on recipriocity and licensing requirements. Note: not all states have preemption. As of current, Michigan Concealed Pistol Licenses are recognized in all of the country except for the following:
          -California
          -Conneticut
          -Guam
          -Hawaii
          -Illinois
          -Maryland
          -Massachusetts
          -New Jersey
          -New York
          -Oregon
          -Puerto Rico
          -Rhode Island
          -Virgin Islands
          -Washington, D.C.
       We highly recommend that Michigan residents that wish to travel to different states/territories to check with the Attorney General office of where they wish to go for specifics on where they can and cannot carry.


9. What is preemption?

        Per MCL 123.1102, preemption is a Michigan state law that states that "prohibit local units of government from imposing certain restrictions on the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols, other firearms, or pneumatic guns, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms".


10. When do I have to disclose that I have a firearm?

        Per MCL 28.425f, you must disclose when you have been stopped by a peace officer. When stopped (which according to the Supreme Court includes being a passenger in a vehicle!), you must immediately disclose if you have a Concealed Pistol License and are carrying a concealed handgun or stun gun. You must also show both your Concealed Pistol License and either your Driver's License or state-issued identification card upon request by a peace officer. Other than those two incidences, who you tell is up to you.


11. Can I carry a gun and wear a mask?

        The only mention of wearing a mask in public in Michigan law is referenced in MCL 750.396. As there is nothing about firearms included in that statute, there should be no issues with wearing a face mask and carrying a firearm as long as the face mask is not "for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a crime".


12. Can I carry pepper spray?

        Yes, according to MCL 750.224d as long as the "self-defense spray or foam device" is less than 35g (~1.2oz) of ingredients, no more than 18% oleoresin capsicum (OC), and is reasonably used "by a person in the protection of a person or property under circumstances that would justify the person's use of physical force".