Michigan Gun Laws


Michigan is found in the Great Lakes Region of the U.S., and is bordered to the north by four of the five Great Lakes. Indiana and Ohio border Michigan to the south, with water separating Michigan from Canada on the east side and Wisconsin to the west.  Michigan has a large tourist economy, and is known for its involvement in the car industry.  Open carry of a handgun is legal in Michigan even without a valid license to carry.

A. State Constitution

Regarding the right to bear arms, the Michigan Constitution states:

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


B. Scope of Preemption

The controlling language of the Michigan preemption statute is set forth as follows:

“A local unit of government shall not impose special taxation on, enact or enforce any ordinance or regulation pertaining to, or regulate in any other manner the ownership, registration, purchase, sale, transfer, transportation, or possession of pistols or other firearms, ammunition for pistols or other firearms, or components of pistols or other firearms, except as otherwise provided by federal law or a law of this state.”


C. Reciprocal Carry

By statute, Michigan will recognize another state’s license to carry if that state has a licensing scheme, which is consistent with Michigan’s:

“An individual who is not a resident of this state is not required to obtain a license under this section if all of the following conditions apply: (a) The individual is licensed in his or her state of residence to purchase, carry, or transport a pistol. (b) The individual is in possession of the license described in subdivision (a). (c) The individual is the owner of the pistol he or she possesses, carries, or transports. (d) The individual possesses the pistol for a lawful purpose … (e) The individual is in this state for a period of 180 days or less and does not intend to establish residency in this state.”


D. Duty to Inform Officers

Michigan requires all holders of a license to carry to inform Officers of that fact when stopped or approached by LEO.

E. NFA Items

Michigan permits ownership of all NFA items, provided they are legally obtained pursuant to federal law, but imposes additional state regulations.  SBR and SBS with an overall length under 26” are considered pistols in MI, and are subject to the same rules as pistols, including a requirement that they be registered with the state police.  Hunting with suppressors is legal.

F. Carrying Firearms in Vehicles

Michigan generally prohibits carrying firearms in vehicles without a permit.  Someone without a permit may only carry a firearm in their vehicle if it is unloaded and secured in a locked container in an area of the car that is not readily accessible (such as the trunk). [http://gunla.ws/mi4]

G. Self-defense Laws

Michigan has both Castle Doctrine and SYG laws.  There is no duty to retreat from any place You have a legal right to be.  You may use force, including deadly force, in defense of yourself or others if You reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent imminent death, SBI, rape, or to stop the unlawful & forcible entry into a dwelling or business, or to stop an aggressor from removing another person from a dwelling, business or occupied motor vehicle against their will. [http://gunla.ws/mi5]

H. Criminal Provisions

Under Michigan law, a license to carry a handgun is not valid in any of the following places or circumstances:

  • A nonresident carrying a concealed weapon pursuant to another state’s license must present the license upon demand of a police officer
  • A school or school property (A parent or legal guardian may carry a concealed weapon while in his or her vehicle while on school property, if the vehicle is on school grounds for the purpose of picking up or dropping off his or her child from school.)
  • A public or private child care center, day care center, or child-placing agency
  • Any place where a no gun sign is posted or the owner of the property relates that guns are not allowed on the property.
  • A sports arena, stadium, or other large entertainment facility (with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more)
  • A bar or tavern licensed where liquor is sold and consumed on the premises
  • On the property of a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship (unless the presiding official permit carrying on that property)
  • A hospital
  • In a dormitory or classroom of a community college, college, or university.
  • A permit is required in order to purchase a handgun, and You must pass a background check to obtain this permit.

For a list of places where carrying a firearm is prohibited, see: