Open carry legal in Michigan


venator

New member
Here is the info we handout to those that want to learn more about open carry in Michigan. A CPL holder can both carry concealed or openly. Check out the infomation below.

YOU CAN OPENLY CARRY A HANDGUN IN MICHIGAN*

1) Any law abiding citizen of the State of Michigan who owns a safety inspected handgun may openly carry (in a holster) said firearm in all places not explicitly exempt by law with or without a CPL. Private property rules over-ride state law in regards to firearm possession.

MSP Legal Update Newsletter: April 2007: Did You Know: …It is not illegal under Michigan law to openly carry a pistol…...

PLACES off limits to firearms without a CPL: Sec. 234d (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), a person shall not possess a firearm on the premises of any of the following: a) A Bank. b) A church. c) A court. d) A theatre. e) A sports arena. f) A day care center. g) A hospital. h) An establishment licensed under the Michigan liquor control act (BAR). (2) This section does not apply to any of the following:
a) A person who owns, or is employed by or contracted by, an entity described in subsection (1) if the possession of that firearm is to provide security services for that entity.
b) A peace officer.
c) A person licensed by this state or another state to carry a concealed weapon.
d) A person who possesses a firearm on the premises of an entity described in subsection (1) if that possession is with the permission of the owner or an agent of the owner of that entity.

2) If you don’t have a CPL, you must transport your handgun as prescribe by law.

Michigan State Police Web Site. Transporting a pistol in a motor vehicle?

Answer A person is now permitted to transport a pistol for a lawful purpose if the owner or occupant of the vehicle is the registered owner of the firearm and the pistol is unloaded and in a closed case in the trunk of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the pistol may be in the passenger compartment of the vehicle unloaded and inaccessible to the occupants of the vehicle. The law defines ‘lawful purpose’ as: 1) While en route to or from a hunting or target shooting area. 2) While transporting a pistol to or from home or place of business and a place of repair. 3) While moving goods from one place of residence or business to another place of residence or business. 4) While transporting a licensed pistol to or from a law enforcement agency for the purpose of having a safety inspection performed (registering the pistol) or to have a law enforcement official take possession of the pistol. 5) While en route to or from home or place of business to a gun show or place of purchase or sale. 6) While en route to or from home to a public shooting facility or land where the discharge of firearms is permitted. 7) While en route to or from home to private property where the pistol is to be used as permitted by law, rule, regulation, or local ordinance.

3) No local ordinance concerning firearm possession is enforceable due to Michigan’s preemption law.

In 1990, the Michigan legislature enacted MCL 123.1102 which provides, in pertinent part: 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.

THE MICHIGAN APPEALS COURT CONCLUDED: April 29, 2003 9:10 am. v No. 242237 In sum, we conclude that § 1102 is a statute that specifically imposes a prohibition on local units of government from enacting and enforcing any ordinances or regulations pertaining to the transportation and possession of firearms, and thus preempts any ordinance or regulation of a local unit of government concerning these areas.

Further, we conclude that the specific language of the 2000 amendments to MCL 28.421 et seq., particularly §§ 5c and 5o, which were adopted more than a decade after the enactment of § 1102, do not repeal § 1102 or otherwise reopen this area to local regulation of the carrying of firearms.17 Accordingly, we hold that the Ferndale ordinance is preempted by state law and, consequently, we reverse.

MCRGO v. Ferndale: The Michigan Court of Appeals held that local units of government may not impose restrictions upon firearms possession.

4) Brandishing and disturbing the peace are not an offense while lawfully openly carrying a firearm.

ADVISORY NOTE: Though this section on disturbing the peace does not deal with firearms, due to the nature of this code, this law has been cited by officers to suppress or discourage lawful open carry. Since a person who is not licensed to carry concealed MUST open carry their firearms on foot in order to avoid criminal charge, nor is there any duty for anyone licensed to conceal their handgun, open carry is not disorderly conduct. The open carrying of firearms is not by itself threatening, nor does it cause a hazardous or physically offensive condition.

BRANDISHING Opinion No. 7101 February 6, 2002: …In the absence of any reported Michigan appellate court decisions defining "brandishing," it is appropriate to rely upon dictionary definitions…..the term brandishing is defined as: "1. To wave or flourish menacingly, as a weapon. 2. To display ostentatiously. A menacing or defiant wave or flourish." This definition comports with the meaning ascribed to this term by courts of other jurisdictions…the court recognized that in federal sentencing guidelines, "brandishing" a weapon is defined to mean "that the weapon was pointed or waved about, or displayed in a threatening manner." Applying these definitions to your question, it is clear that a reserve police officer, regardless whether he or she qualifies as a "peace officer," when carrying a handgun in a holster in plain view, is not waving or displaying the firearm in a threatening manner. Thus, such conduct does not constitute brandishing a firearm in violation of section 234e of the Michigan Penal Code. It is my opinion, therefore, that…by carrying a handgun in a holster that is in plain view, does not violate section 234e of the Michigan Penal Code, which prohibits brandishing a firearm in public.

5) A person openly carrying a firearm on foot in a legal manner when approached by a police officer and questioned where the only reason for the questioning is because of the openly carried firearm need not give that officer their name and address. No license or ID is required to openly carry a firearm. It is your option to provide ID/CPL.

ADVISORY NOTE: Each situation is different. We recommend you cooperate with all lawful questions and requests. Ask the officer if the reason you are being detained is for the legal open carry of a firearm. After giving your name and address, ask if you are free to go, ask if you are being detained. If they continue to ask questions about ID and why you are carrying a gun, repeat the question, am I free to go? Am I being detained? If the situation escalates ask for a supervisor. Remember the officer can arrest you for anything, don’t resist the arrest. After an illegal arrest you may have legal options you can employ.

6) An AG opinion, the MSP and Senator Prusi stated that a person with a CPL can carry a firearm openly in the exempted areas listed in MCL 750.234d. For example, with permission from the owner you can openly carry a handgun in a bar, sports arena, etc.

Opinion No. 7097 January 11, 2002… A person licensed by this state… to carry a concealed weapon….By its express terms, section 234d prohibits certain persons from carrying a firearm in the enumerated places but explicitly exempts from its prohibition “[a] person licensed by this state or another state to carry a concealed weapon.” Thus, any person licensed to carry a concealed pistol, including a private investigator, is exempt from the gun-free zone restrictions imposed by section 234d of the Penal Code and may therefore possess firearms while on the types of premises listed in that statute.

“Your analysis is correct. Non-CPL pistol free zones do not apply to CPL holders. The CPL pistol free zones only apply to CPL holders carrying a concealed pistol. Therefore, a CPL holder may openly carry a pistol in Michigan's pistol free zones.”
Sincerely, Sgt. Thomas Deasy, Michigan State Police Executive Resource Section, (517) 336-6441

“…My office has contacted the Michigan State Police legislative liaison and has received some answers to share with you. According to the liaison, it is legal to openly carry a firearm in a "Pistol Free Zone" if you are a licensed CPL holder. I was advised that your information was correct that MCL 28.425o and MCL 750-234d permit this activity. I was informed that there was no other additional relevant laws regarding this matter…” Michael A Prusi, State Senator 38th District"

ADVISORY NOTE: Before carrying a handgun we recommend that you become familiar with all state and federal laws in regards to firearm laws and the use of deadly force. Taking a self defense/firearm course is recommended. Michigan has a self defense act PA No. 309 July 18, 2006 that states you do not have to retreat from a threat, but you must meet the legal requirements before you engage in the use of deadly force.

FOR MORE INFO SEE OpenCarry.org and click on forums, then click on MICHIGAN.

*The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research on the subject of open carry in Michigan. You are responsible in determining the accuracy of any information listed above. If you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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Big Gay Al

New member
I feel I should add one caveat. IF you plan to open carry, plan on being hassled by the police. As Brian points out in his article, many people, including those in law enforcement, are not aware that open carry is legal. And even those who do know, are likely to call, if they happen to be against guns and gun owners.
 

venator

New member
I feel I should add one caveat. IF you plan to open carry, plan on being hassled by the police. As Brian points out in his article, many people, including those in law enforcement, are not aware that open carry is legal. And even those who do know, are likely to call, if they happen to be against guns and gun owners.

Yes plan on being hassled by the police, but we have found that this rarely happens. We have guys that have carried for 4 years and only recently had to deal with an irrate Police chief. The person that called 911 was an off-duty sheriffs deputy from the next county over. Why the off duty cop couldn't have asked the guy himself I don't know. I have open carried for about a year in the Lansing and greater Lansing area and was only approached once. This was while I was openly carrying in the Capital building. One of the capital staff thought that open carry was illegal and called the capital security police. I was lectured but not arrested, etc. The officer later apoligized to me for his lecturing. So all was good.
 
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tpatru

New member
cpl-holders exempt from pistol-free zones???

“Your analysis is correct. Non-CPL pistol free zones do not apply to CPL holders. The CPL pistol free zones only apply to CPL holders carrying a concealed pistol. Therefore, a CPL holder may openly carry a pistol in Michigan's pistol free zones.”

On the back of my michigan cpl, it says that I may not carry in hospitals, churches, schools, etc... Has something changed since I got my cpl, or why does the first post mention that cpl-holders are exempt from pistol-free zones?
 

venator

New member
“Your analysis is correct. Non-CPL pistol free zones do not apply to CPL holders. The CPL pistol free zones only apply to CPL holders carrying a concealed pistol. Therefore, a CPL holder may openly carry a pistol in Michigan's pistol free zones.”

On the back of my michigan cpl, it says that I may not carry in hospitals, churches, schools, etc... Has something changed since I got my cpl, or why does the first post mention that cpl-holders are exempt from pistol-free zones?

You can't carry concealed in those places, but if you have a CPL you can carry openly in these places. Remember most of these places are private and they can ask you to leave if you are openly carrying.
 
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Sheldon

New member
I contacted my county prosecutor...

and sent him thiis...

I ran into this MI Ag opinion #7097. Opinion #7097 on one of the pro 2A forums I haunt, although it has specific language that originally answers a question pertaining to "Private Investigators" language in the text is not specific on this point, therefore it would seem to indicate that certain areas that are often referred as Criminal Empowerment Zones, do not apply to those who are licensed by the State of Michigan to carry a Concealed Weapon.

This has apparently been the interpretation by some State Police offices to permit I quote: “…My office has contacted the Michigan State Police legislative liaison....According to the liaison, it is legal to openly carry a firearm in a "Pistol Free Zone" if you are a licensed CPL holder....that MCL 28.425o and MCL 750-234d permit this activity. I was informed that there was no other additional relevant laws regarding this matter…” Michael A Prusi, State Senator 38th District"

Below is a partial quote of that opinion...



(2) This section does not apply to any of the following:

a) A person who owns, or is employed by or contracted by, an entity described in subsection (1) if the possession of that firearm is to provide security services for that entity.

b) A peace officer.

c) A person licensed by this state or another state to carry a concealed weapon.

d) A person who possesses a firearm on the premises of an entity described in subsection (1) if that possession is with the permission of the owner or an agent of the owner of that entity. [Emphasis added.]

By its express terms, section 234d prohibits certain persons from carrying a firearm in the enumerated places but explicitly exempts from its prohibition "[a] person licensed by this state or another state to carry a concealed weapon." Thus, any person licensed to carry a concealed pistol, including a private investigator, is exempt from the gun-free zone restrictions imposed by section 234d of the Penal Code and may therefore possess firearms while on the types of premises listed in that statute.

And he replied...

Jim,

Good question!

The opinion you cite does not specifically or clearly address the "open carry" issue. But your reading of the opinion and the two statutes could easily be correct. It appears to be a "gap" or undefined area in the law. Perhaps the Senator could ask a more specific question of the Attorney General to get a clear answer.

Have a great weekend. Thanks.

MCL 750.234d prohibits the possession of any weapon in the listed area
--

Mr. John A. Hallacy
Prosecuting Attorney

Criminal Empowerment zones have been a pain in the backside of all of us who have jumped through the hoops here in Michigan, and this looks as though it could easly be what we have been looking for.
 

venator

New member
Short version, it looks like the State Police opinion is correct.

SO you asked a prosecutor if this info was correct, but you didn't take the word of the representative of the entire State Police Department. Nice to check it out, but come on. A Cooley law instructor told me he has gotten calls from former students that are now prosecutors, on what to charge people for open carrying, and he tells them they can't charge anything, it's legal. My point is, even some prosecutors are unaware of what the law is, and they have the power to charge people with prosecution. While it's nice to hear what local prosecutors would do, or what their opinions are, remember they may be wrong.

In the matter that you questioned I had three citations to authority AG, MSP, and a senator, all saying the same thing, good to add one more that's in agreement (sarcasm).
 
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Sheldon

New member
no slam but...

SO you asked a prosecutor if this info was correct, but you didn't take the word of the representative of the entire State Police Department. Nice to check it out, but come on. A Cooley law instructor told me he has gotten calls from former students that are now prosecutors, on what to charge people for open carrying, and he tell them they can't charge anything it's legal. My point is, even some prosecutors are unaware of what the law is, and they have the power to charge people with prosecution. While it's nice to hear what local prosecutors would do, or what their opinions are, remember they may be wrong.

In the matter that you questioned I had three citations to authority AG, MSP, and a senator, all saying the same thing, good to add one more that's in agreement (sarcasm).

Yep I do not trust any source I did not personally check out, none of your sources can make, decide, or define law, they can only have opinions, just as my source is but one more opinion, and that is not law.

A very long time ago I found out through the school of hard knocks that never and I mean never let police decide how a law is interpreted, even if it is to your advantage. You need something written in stone an to get that we must go higher than the State Senator that asked a " Michigan State Police legislative liaison" about a "AG" opinion that is answering a question WRT a PI. After all the opinion is only as good as the "he said, she said" in a court of law.

Until we have it in writing as a legal opinion by the current AG as meaning just that does indeed apply as we read it across the board. Until then it is only something your lawyer can use as a argument in a court of law while he tries to keep you out of jail. Then it is up to some possibly anti judge to miss interpret and this could get real expensive for some poor soul in the end.

Now is the time to be asking these questions as we have a pro AG, and a pro legislature, as Mike is contemplating running against Grandstand in the next state cycle.
 
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venator

New member
Yep I do not trust any source I did not personally check out, none of your sources can make, decide, or define law, they can only have opinions, just as my source is but one more opinion, and that is not law.

A very long time ago I found out through the school of hard knocks that never and I mean never let police decide how a law is interpreted, even if it is to your advantage. You need something written in stone an to get that we must go higher than the " Michigan State Police legislative liaison" which is who this all boils down to. After all their opinion is only as good as the "he said, she said" in a court of law.

Until we have it in writing as a legal opinion by the current AG as meaning just that does indeed apply as we read it across the board. Until then it is only something your lawyer can use as a argument in a court of law while he tries to keep you out of jail. Then it is up to some possibly anti judge to miss interpret and this could get real expensive for some poor soul in the end.

Now is the time to be asking these questions as we have a pro AG, and a pro legislature, as Mike is contemplating running against Grandstand in the next state cycle.

While all of these opinions are just that, they would be taken into account and hold weight with a prosecutor that is deciding to charge you with a crime. The prosecutor wants cases he can win. They don't like to prosecute weak cases that wastes time and money. Also I would request a jury trial and point out that I was conducting my activity based on the AG's and the MSP and a state legislator's interpretation of the law. This all goes to show I tried to obey the law and made a very good effort to find out what is legal. In the juries mind this would be very helpful in getting a not guilty verdict. Again, you always take a chance in court, there is no justice only decisions.
 

Sheldon

New member
I would hope it would be your lawyer and and not yourself doing the arguing in court, there is an old saying "He who has himself for a lawyer has a fool for a lawyer".

Yes the opinion may carry some weight but in a county such as say Wayne, Sometimes they just flat out do not care if it is a winnable case or not, but one that fit's their personal political agenda (AKA harass the gun owner) and puts them in the lime light it good enough for them, 6 months and $50,000.00 later in legal fees you are free. With an official written in Stone decision you could sue for harassment and damages thus recoup your losses.

Does any one else here remember when we got our shall issue law, and Wayne decided to write in no Cary zones despite the fact that state law flat out stated they reserved that right. It took close to a year in court and I forget how much in legal fees to win.

You are preaching to the choir here son but try and heed the advice of those old farts that have been there and done that, after all you can never have too much ammo in a fight, regardless of the kind of.
 
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venator

New member
I would hope it would be your lawyer and and not yourself doing the arguing in court, there is an old saying "He who has himself for a lawyer has a fool for a lawyer".

Yes the opinion may carry some weight but in a county such as say Wayne where they basically would not care if they can win or not but just harass a gun owner, 6 months and $50,000.00 later in legal fees you are free. With an official written in Stone decision you could sue for harassment and damages thus recoup your losses.

You are preaching to the choir here son but try and heed the advice of those old farts that have been there and done that, after all you can never have too much ammo in a fight, regardless of the kind of.

Well we have people that OC in Wayne county often, they are aware that OC is legal. I would never represent myself in a court of law. And in regards to OLD, I'm just a couple years younger than you are, I have been there and done some too. And if you read my entire post, you take a chance in court...no justice just decisions.
 

venator

New member
I have added a general information page with lots of stuff on open carry in Michigan at
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Did a count of the cities that our members have OCed in, many in large urban areas. The myth that open carry only occurs in the “sticks” is being dispelled daily.

Allen Park
Alpena
Battle Creek
Bath
Bay City
Beulah
Big Rapids
Burton
Chesaning
Clio
Corrunna
Dearborn
Dearborn Heights
East Lansing
Fenton
Flint
Flushing
Fowlerville
Frankenmuth
Garden City
Grand Blanc
Grand Rapids
Grandville
Haslett
Kalamazoo
Lake City
Lansing
Leslie
Livonia
Midland
Mt. Morris
Okemos
Owosso
Paw Paw
Redford
Romulus
Saint Charles
Sault Sainte Marie
Saginaw
Standale
Traverse City
Westland
 

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