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What are the Gun Laws in Michigan?

A Synopsis of State Laws on Purchase, Possession and Carrying of Firearms

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Antiques and Replicas

Handguns kept solely for the purpose of display, as relics, curios, or antiques not made for modern ammunition or permanently deactivated are exempt from the registration and sale provisions.

An antique firearm is defined as:

  • A firearm not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed ammunition and manufactured in or before 1898, including a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system or replica thereof, whether actually manufactured before or after the year 1898.

  • A firearm using fixed ammunition manufactured in or before 1898, for which ammunition is no longer manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.

National Firearms Act Firearms

It is unlawful to sell, offer for sale, possess or manufacture any machine gun "which shoots or is designed to shoot automatically more than one shot without manual reloading by a single function of the trigger." Exceptions are for manufacturers with government contracts and any person duly licensed to manufacture, sell, or possess any machine gun by federal law.

Miscellaneous

Michigan provides a two-year mandatory prison term for any felony committed by a person carrying or possessing a firearm. This sentence is in addition to the sentence imposed for committing the felony and must be served consecutively. The person subject to this provision "shall not be eligible for parole or probation during the mandatory term."

  • It is unlawful to willfully alter, remove, or obliterate the serial number, maker’s name, or "other mark of identity" on any firearm.

  • It is unlawful to intentionally point, even without malice, any firearm at another person.

  • It is unlawful to set any spring gun or other device operating by the firing of gunpowder or any other explosive.

  • It is unlawful to possess or use any firearm while under the influence of liquor or any exhilarating or stupefying drug.

  • It is unlawful to recklessly or heedlessly or willfully or wantonly use, carry, handle or discharge any firearm without due caution and circumspection for the rights, safety or property of others.

Pellet guns are considered firearms in Michigan and thus are regulated by the above provisions. A pellet handgun must be registered and requires a license to purchase.

In addition, a license to carry must be obtained to carry concealed or in a vehicle; if it has no serial number, the gun must be taken to the State Police who will stamp a number on the weapon. No person under 18 years of age may possess or use a BB gun beyond the yard of his home unless accompanied by a person over 18.

Units of local government are prohibited from imposing certain restrictions on firearms and ammunition.

Theft of a firearm must be reported to police within 5 days after discovery.

Notes:

A person who is 18 or older, but under 21, may purchase a handgun, but not from a federally licensed dealer who is prohibited from selling a handgun to anyone younger than 21.

The term "lawful purpose" is defined to include the following:

  • While en route to or from a hunting or target shooting area.

  • While transporting a pistol en route to or from his or her home or place of business and place of repair.

  • While moving goods from a place of abode or business to another place of abode or business.

  • While transporting a licensed pistol en route to or from a law enforcement agency for the purpose of having a safety inspection performed on the pistol, or for the purpose of having a law enforcement official take possession of the pistol.

  • While en route to or from his or her place of abode or place of business and a gun show or places of purchase or sale.

  • While en route to or from his or her abode to a public shooting facility or public land where discharge of firearms is permitted.

  • While en route to or from his or her abode to a private property location where the pistol is to be used as is permitted by law.

Sources: National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action

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