What Does It Mean To Open Carry A Pistol Without A CPL In Michigan?

Sometimes it is not easy to know the laws regarding carrying guns, especially when each state has its own. If you are considering openly carrying your pistol in Michigan without a CPL (Concealed Pistol License), it is important to know the laws before doing so. While the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms, there are many exceptions. You could very easily end up facing penalties for violating the law, and ignorance is not a defense. Below is some basic, but certainly not complete, information about how open carry works in Michigan. Of course, if you find yourself in violation of any of the laws, that is something our aggressive firearm defense attorneys can help with. We’ve been defending clients from criminal gun charges since the last century. Our criminal defense team can be reached 24/7 by calling 866 7NoJail (866-766-5245).

It is important to note that other rules apply to those who carry a gun with a CPL. To learn more about that topic, check out our blog How Do I Get a CPL In Michigan And What Can I Do With It?.

What Is Open Carry And Who Can Do It?

Michigan does not have a law that allows open carry. However, it is allowed simply because it is not prohibited by law. There are, however, limits on who can openly carry weapons and how to do so. 

gun in hand

To legally open carry in Michigan, the pistol must be fully visible, such as in a visible holster or in your belt. You must also be over 18 and a resident of Michigan to open carry a pistol. It is important to remember that if you are going to open carry a pistol, it must be one registered to you. You can also be restricted from open carrying if you have any state or federal prohibitions on owning firearms, such as being a convicted felon. 

What Rules Do I Have To Follow To Open Carry? 

You can openly carry a weapon in the public in Michigan, within specific parameters, as long as your intent is lawful. Lawful intent just means that you are not looking to commit any crime. There are some places you can’t open carry in Michigan, which are:

  • Courts
  • Stadiums and event centers
  • Child care or daycare centers
  • Hospitals
  • Church or other places of worship
  • A depository financial institution such as a bank or credit union
  • Schools, colleges, and universities
  • Casinos
  • Any place where the sale of alcohol is the primary source of income
  • Or any place where firearms are prohibited federally, like airports

It is also important to know that an owner of private property is allowed to exclude people from carrying weapons on their property. Some retail stores prohibit firearms that might be otherwise allowed. 

There is also no such thing as “open carrying” in a vehicle. Michigan law, MCL 750.227(2) actually makes it a felony to transport a pistol in a vehicle unless that person is licensed to do so. There are exceptions for traveling with a gun in your vehicle with “lawful purpose”, but there are still rules to be followed. 

Michigan law considers travel for a lawful purpose to be traveling to and from: 

  • Public land where it is legal to shoot
  • A repair place
  • Private property where the pistol can be lawfully used
  • A hunting or target practice area, including a public shooting facility
  • A gun show or other place of sale or purchase
  • Moving items from a home or business to another home or business
  • Turning over the pistol or having a safety inspection completed at a law enforcement agency 

Further, when traveling to and from these places, the pistol must be in a closed firearm case, unloaded, and in the trunk. In the case a vehicle doesn’t have a trunk, the pistol can’t be easily accessible. 

Facing Charges Regarding Open Carry?

Our Michigan firearm laws are complicated, and as we mentioned, it can be easy to violate one of the many restrictions on carrying guns in Michigan. Violation can carry serious penalties, and in that case, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney to help protect your rights. In the event that you have already lost gun rights by violating Michigan’s open carry laws, our skilled firearm attorneys can help you with gun rights restoration. At The Kronzek Firm, we are dedicated to protecting your rights. Reach out to us today at 866-766-5245 to start getting help! Our criminal defense attorneys have helped thousands of clients over the decades.

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