Michigan, a state with a rich history of hunting and sports shooting, has seen its gun laws evolve over time to reflect changes in societal attitudes and safety concerns. The state’s laws, which govern the sale, possession, and use of firearms, have undergone significant changes recently.
As early as the 1920s, Michigan implemented gun control measures, primarily aimed at regulating the concealed carry of weapons. Over the years, these laws expanded to cover various aspects of firearm ownership and usage. Notably, in 2023, Michigan passed several foundational gun safety laws, including an Extreme Risk law and a secure storage law.
Michigan gun laws are a blend of liberal and conservative elements. The state is considered a “shall issue” state for concealed carry permits. This means that if you meet the legal requirements, you will be issued a permit.
Residents must be at least 18 years old to hunt with (possess) a handgun. Handguns cannot be borrowed or loaned to another person. Only Michigan residents may purchase handguns, short-barreled rifles, and short-barreled shotguns (firearms that are 26 inches or less in length) in Michigan.
In 2023, Michigan passed several foundational gun safety laws, including an Extreme Risk law and a secure storage law. These laws aim to prevent individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others from accessing firearms, and ensure that guns are stored safely to prevent accidents.
A major overhaul was the introduction of universal background checks. This means that a background check is now required for all gun sales, not just those conducted by licensed dealers.
Moreover, a new law related to secure gun storage has been passed. While the specifics of this law are yet to be detailed, it generally mandates that guns must be stored securely to prevent unauthorized access.
Michigan does not require registration of firearms or owners. However, a permit to purchase, a background check, and firearms registration are required to buy a handgun from a private individual.
Michigan is considered a “shall issue” state for concealed carry permits. This means if a person who is at least 21 years old and has been a U.S. citizen for at least three years meets all the requirements, they can obtain a concealed carry permit.
Michigan law prohibits individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors and all felonies from possessing firearms. In 2023, this was extended to include individuals convicted of misdemeanors related to domestic violence.
There are also restrictions on where firearms can be carried. For instance, concealed carry is not permitted in certain areas such as schools, daycare centers, sports arenas, bars, churches, hospitals, and entertainment facilities that seat 2,500 or more individuals.
Looking ahead, additional gun laws are set to take effect in 2024. These laws will introduce red flag laws, stricter background checks, and safe storage requirements.
Red flag laws allow family members or law enforcement to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from an individual who is deemed to pose a risk to themselves or others. Stricter background checks will likely involve more thorough investigations into a person’s criminal and mental health history.
While Michigan gun laws may seem complex, they aim to balance the rights of individuals to own and carry firearms with the need to maintain public safety. It’s crucial for residents and visitors to stay informed about the current regulations. Failure to comply with these laws can result in serious legal consequences.
For more detailed information on Michigan gun laws, consider visiting the Michigan State Law Library’s guide on gun laws, or consult with a legal professional.