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Is it Illegal to Fire a Gun Inside my House in Michigan?

A man standing inside a door with an old style pistol. The barrel is smoking.
Can you safely and legally fire a weapon inside your own home? Michigan law isn’t as clear on that as you’d hope…

You would think the answer to this is a resounding “no”. After all, if it’s your house and your gun, and you’re licensed to carry a firearm in Michigan, then whose business is it if you choose to shoot up the inside of your own home, right? Actually, logical as that may seem to you, that’s not the case. Let’s take a look at what the law does say about where you can and can’t fire a weapon. But first, make note: You don’t have to have a concealed pistol license (CPL) to have a gun in your own home. However, the gun does need to be registered. 

Are you allowed to carry that gun in Michigan?

Michigan is an open carry state, which means that if you legally own the gun, you can carry it as long as it’s visible to others at all times. However, many gun owners want to be able to carry their guns outside their home  without keeping them visible. That’s where the concealed pistol license (CPL) comes in. In Michigan, if you want to carry a concealed weapon you need a carry permit, which isn’t that hard to get. Once you have it, you can carry your gun, without revealing that you have it, wherever you want to as long as it’s not into off-limits areas specified by the law, like sports arenas, schools, courts, places of worship, or federal buildings.

But what about your own home? Can you carry your gun at home?

Yes, you can. It’s your gun, and if you own it lawfully, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to have it on you at home. However, there’s a big difference between carrying a gun at home and firing a gun at home. Technically, while Michigan law doesn’t prohibit you from firing a gun inside your own home, the law DOES prohibit you from firing a gun in a “careless, reckless, or negligent” way. In other words, in a way that puts yourself or any other person in potential danger. In addition, many cities, as well as county and townships boards have outlawed the practice of discharging a firearm within their borders. 

Michigan law is set up to protect people from injury or death

Under Michigan law, discharging a weapon with a reckless disregard for another person’s safety or property, at any time including during a holiday celebration, or in a heavily populated area, can result in you being arrested. So think about it this way. Are there any other people in your home? What about possessions – do you have anyone else’s possessions in your home? Is there any chance that another person (or possibly even an animal) could be injured if you fired a weapon inside your home? Consider the fact that houses tend to be small spaces, and that you can’t control the possible ricochet of a bullet. 

What about firing a gun in your own backyard?

Again, while Michigan law doesn’t technically prohibit you from firing a weapon in your backyard, it DOES prohibit you from firing a weapon in a place where there aren’t enough safeguards in place to ensure that no one is harmed. In other words, firing a gun at a local park, in your own backyard, or out in the woods at random are all bad ideas! You have no way to ensure that no one is out for a stroll in the woods at that moment, or that your bullet will stay nearby where you can see it. So stick to safe and legal spots, like gun ranges, or tracts of land that have been designated for legal hunting and target practice. But before you do any shooting, research the local laws or speak to the county sheriff’s office. 

Can you get your gun rights back once you’ve lost them?

Losing your gun rights in Michigan is a very frustrating process. However, just because you’ve lost your gun rights, doesn’t mean you can’t get them back! It does take time, and the process starts with determining your eligibility for both federal and state gun rights restoration. We can help with that. Here at The Kronzek Firm, our NRA referral attorney can help you figure out exactly what your case involves, and whether or not you’re eligible to have your gun rights legally restored. So if you’d like to get back to hunting and target practice, please download our gun rights restoration form and follow the instructions. If possible, we’d like to help you get back on the road to legal gun ownership in Michigan.

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