Michigan residents possess firearms for a wide range of lawful purposes, from hunting to home defense. Michigan is also a shall-issue state, allowing qualified applicants who meet specific criteria to carry concealed firearms. More than 750,000 Michigan residents have chosen to exercise their rights by acquiring a concealed pistol license (CPL).
However, if you don’t have a CPL, what are the rules regarding concealed carry in your own home?
Michigan Concealed Pistol License
To carry a concealed weapon, you need to have a valid concealed carry permit. In Michigan, this is called a CPL or concealed pistol license. Off-duty and retired law enforcement officers are an exception to this rule, as they may carry firearms under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act.
As a private citizen, you will need to meet minimum eligibility criteria to qualify for a CPL, such as being at least 21 years of age, not having been convicted of a felony, and a resident of the state of Michigan (with some exceptions), among other conditions. Open carry is legal without a CPL and less restrictive unless you’re a non-resident.
Do You Need a License to Purchase?
While a license to carry is required, no license is required to purchase a firearm from a federal firearms licensee (FFL) in Michigan. You will, however, need to show proof of ID, be at least 18 years of age for rifles and shotguns and 21 years of age for handguns, and complete the NICS background check. Handgun sales are recorded and sent to the Michigan State Police. If you intend to buy a gun from a private seller, a license to purchase or a CPL is required.
Unlicensed Concealed Carry
According to Michigan state law, it is unlawful to carry a handgun openly or concealed without a license, except in your own home, place of business, or on land that you own. As a result, you can legally carry a handgun in your home without a CPL, either openly or concealed, for self-defense.
As Michigan has a “stand your ground” law, there is no duty to retreat, and you can lawfully use deadly force if you honestly and reasonably believe it’s necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to yourself or another person. This includes sexual assault.
Should You Carry at Home?
Many responsible gun owners, regardless of whether they’re also CPL holders, stage firearms at home. Staging is the strategic placement of firearms to increase access in the event of a home invasion. Keeping a gun in a quickly accessible safe hidden under a table or adjacent to a sofa is an example of staging. There are, however, benefits to carrying a gun at home, especially a handgun.
A home invasion can occur at any time, but staging firearms inside your house is not as useful to you when you temporarily leave to mow the lawn, check the mail, or take out the garbage. Your staged gun is no use to you if you can’t reach it. Every time you leave your home, you are more vulnerable to assault or armed robbery. As a result, many gun owners choose to carry handguns in their own homes.
If you have a valid CPL, you can carry a concealed handgun in your vehicle. Unlicensed residents will need to keep the firearm unloaded in a closed container in the trunk of the vehicle. If you don’t have a vehicle with a trunk, the law states that the weapon must not be readily accessible to an occupant.
Wear a Holster
Even in the comfort of your own home, if you carry a concealed firearm, you should still wear a holster. The primary purpose is to allow you to securely carry a firearm, preventing it from falling out and ensuring it remains in the same position for a consistent draw.
A high-quality holster should be durable, retain your weapon effectively, protect your weapon, and be comfortable to carry.
If you decide to apply for a CPL, it’s important to know where you cannot lawfully carry a firearm. These include:
- Schools and school property, unless you’re in a vehicle picking up or dropping off your children
- Public and private daycare centers
- Sports stadiums and arenas
- Businesses that derive the majority of their income from the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption
- Property owned or operated by religious institutions (e.g., churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples), unless explicitly permitted by the presiding official
- Entertainment facilities with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more
- College and university dormitories and classrooms
Find a CPL Class
IFA Tactical recommends that all responsible and eligible gun owners apply for a CPL. We offer CPL classes to prepare you for your CCW permit application. We cover everything from safely operating and storing firearms to understanding the state’s gun laws in these classes.
Give us a call at (586) 275-2176 to learn more about Michigan’s laws regarding concealed carry and how you can safely and lawfully arm yourself for self-defense.