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Why Can’t I Fire a Gun on my Own Michigan Property (Pt 2)

A hunting rifle laid across some mossy rocks in the woods

Welcome back and thanks for joining us again for this discussion about why firing a gun on your own property here in Michigan might get you into trouble. As we mentioned in the previous article, you are allowed to have as many guns in your home as you want (provided you’re not a convicted felon, or the court hasn’t stripped you of that privilege and provided that they are not outlawed by federal law.) 

But having guns in your home and firing them in your home are two very different things, as we’ve already explained. Firing a gun inside your house is a really bad idea, but what about firing a gun outside your home? Can you discharge a weapon in your backyard, or on your very own property? That depends…

Can I fire a gun in my own backyard?

Michigan law doesn’t technically prohibit you from firing a weapon in your backyard. However, it DOES prohibit you from firing a weapon in a place where there aren’t enough safeguards in place to ensure that no one gets hurt. In other words, discharging a gun at a local park, in your own backyard, or out in the woods at random are all bad ideas! Here in Michigan, we call that reckless discharge of a firearm. 

You have no way to be certain that no one is out for a stroll in the woods at that moment, or that there aren’t kids playing somewhere out of sight but within range of your bullet. So our advice would be to stick to safe and legal spots, like gun ranges, or tracts of land that have been designated for legal hunting and target practice. And before you do any shooting, research the local laws or speak to the county sheriff’s office. For the best legal advice, speak to a local attorney that is familiar with your county’s gun restrictions. 

What about discharging a weapon on my property?

Some people own large tracts of land that they use for hunting, farming, logging, or other rural pastimes and activities. If you happen to own a large piece of land (and we’re talking many acres here, not a sizable suburban backyard!) the rules might be a little different. Under Michigan law, you and your spouse and children don’t need a license to hunt on your own lands. However, as our attorneys tell our clients, it never hurts to be extra cautious. Check with a local attorney in your county as well as the sheriff’s office just to be certain. 

Usually, you can hunt and even target practice on your own lands, provided you are at least 450 feet from an occupied dwelling. Also, if you’re deer hunting on your own lands, it would be a good idea to check with your neighbors that they’re okay with you pursuing a deer onto their property if need be. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and nothing sours a hunting season faster than a fight with your neighbors!

Can I get my gun rights back once I’ve lost them?

Losing your gun rights in Michigan is a very frustrating process. However, just because you’ve lost your right to own and operate a gun, doesn’t mean you can’t get that back! It does take time, and the process starts with figuring out if you’re eligible for both federal and state gun rights restoration. And our skilled and experienced gun rights restoration attorneys 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 you have been charged with reckless discharge of a firearm or any other gun charge here in Michigan, and you’re ready to hire an attorney to work to protect you, call 866 766 5245. We have 25 years experience fighting for our clients in the lower peninsula of Michigan. 

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