So you want to know about your right to fire a gun on your own property in Michigan? Here’s the thing… There are a lot of things that are illegal to do out in the public arena (with good reason) that you can still do legally at home. For example, if you choose to drive your car around in your own backyard after drinking too much beer you may end up very sorry the next morning, but you probably won’t go to jail for breaking the law. Why?
Because according to our Supreme Court, you can only be arrested for drunk driving in Michigan if you’re driving under the influence in a place “generally accessible to other vehicles”. You can also walk around in your house with no clothes on, and while you may horrify your closest neighbors if you leave the curtains open, it’s not the same as if you were roaming around in the street in your birthday suit (which is definitely grounds for arrest!) But what if you chose to fire a gun in your house?
These rules don’t apply when you fire guns indoors though!
We get it – your house is your castle. Your home, your rules, right? You own the place (or rent it, if that’s the case), so you should get to decide what happens there. We understand that mindset, but great as that sounds, it’s not always true.
Some things are illegal no matter where you do them, and firing a gun happens to be one of those things you can’t do at home in Michigan without potential legal consequences. Even if you own the house, you own the gun, you have a license to carry it, and no one was hurt, you can STILL get into trouble. Confused about why? Let’s break it down…
Carrying a gun is not the same as firing a gun.
If it’s your gun, and if you own it lawfully, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to have it with you at home. Do your laundry with your gun strapped to your boot? Sure, if you want. Watch TV with a gun in a holster at your side? Absolutely, if it makes you happy. However, there’s a big difference between carrying a gun at home, and deciding to fire a gun at home. Why? That’s where it gets tricky…
Technically, Michigan law doesn’t prohibit you from discharging a gun inside your own home. But 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.
The idea is to keep people safe from injury and death!
Under Michigan law, discharging a weapon “with a reckless disregard for another person’s safety or property,” at any time (and that includes during holiday celebrations like July 4th, or in heavily populated areas) 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. So keeping all of that in mind, you’ll see why it’s not safe or smart to fire a gun inside your house!
The right to bear arms is part of the fabric of American identity
Join us next time for a look at what the law says about when and if you can fire a gun in your backyard, hunting on your own property, and getting your gun rights back once you’ve lost them. (Read about that at RestoreMyGunRights.info) Until then, if you’ve been accused of any crime involving a weapon, from Armed Robbery or Assault with a Deadly Weapon, to being a felon in possession of a firearm, we can help.
The highly skilled gun crime defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have spent more than a quarter-century fighting to defend the rights of Michigan’s residents. We know all the ins and outs of weapons laws in Michigan, and we know what needs to be done to build you a strong defense. We’ve been a referral attorney for the NRA for more than 20 years. So as soon as you’re ready to hire a fierce criminal defense attorney to fight for you, call 866 766 5245.