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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

The information contained on this page is not legal advice but is merely a starting point for your own research and a basis to form your own decision about appropriate courses of action.  We are not lawyers, if you'd like individualized legal advice, we'd be happy to refer you to some Law Practices with known firearm specializations.  It is crucial you understand the law before you begin open carrying.
 

Acronyms:
CPL = Concealed Pistol License
PFZ = Pistol Free Zone
MSP = Michigan State Police
MCL = Michigan Compiled Laws

  1. What are Open Carry PFZs for those without a CPL?
  2. What are Concealed Carry PFZs for those with a CPL?
  3. I'm new to Open Carry and I do not have a CPL. Can you give me some thoughts on how to get started with Open Carry?
  4. I heard you can Open Carry in a Conceal Carry PFZ listed in MCL 28.425o if you have a CPL, is this correct?
  5. I've heard open carry is brandishing, is this true?
  6. I've heard that once you get your CPL you can no longer Open Carry, is this true?
  7. Do "No Gun" signs on private property have the force of law in Michigan?
  8. I don't have a Concealed Pistol License (CPL).; Can I carry in/on a (BLANK)? (fill it in: Motorcycle, bicycle, tricycle, big wheel, 4-wheeler, snow mobile, city bus, cab, car)
  9. Can I carry on Federal Property?
  10. Can I openly carry a gun registered to someone else/not registered to me?
  11. Can I open carry with an inside the waistband/inside the pants (IWB) holster?
  12. I want to talk to a lawyer. Can you refer me to one?
  13. I live in the City of ________.  The City has an ordinance prohibiting the possession of firearms in public.  Can they do that?
  14. I don't have a CPL.  Can I open carry at ________? (Insert: Meijers, Walmart, Kroger, or your favorite grocery store/place that sells liquor/beer/wine)
  15. I don't live in Michigan.  Can I open carry in Michigan?
  16. What is the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limit for carrying?
  17. Can I open carry with a round in the chamber.

 

1. What are Open Carry PFZs for those without a CPL?
MCL 750.234d and MCL 750.237a govern pistol free zones for those that don't have a CPL. MCL 750.234d states the following (full text in link above):

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person shall not possess a firearm on the premises of any of the following:

(a) A depository financial institution or a subsidiary or affiliate of a depository financial institution.
(b) A church or other house of religious worship.
(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, Act No. 8 of the Public Acts of the Extra Session of 1933, being sections 436.1 to 436.58 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

(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.

MCL 750.237a makes it illegal to possess a firearm or other weapon at a school or on school property, but contains an exemption for those with a CPL. See the link above for the full text.

Note: Neither MCL 750.234d nor MCL 750.237a contain an exemption for parking lots.

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2. What are Concealed Carry PFZs for those with a CPL?
MCL 28.425o specifies pistol free zones for concealed carry. It states (full text available in link):

(1) Subject to subsection (5), an individual licensed under this act to carry a concealed pistol, or who is exempt from licensure under section 12a(1)(f), shall not carry a concealed pistol on the premises of any of the following:

(a) A school or school property except that a parent or legal guardian of a student of the school is not precluded from carrying a concealed pistol while in a vehicle on school property, if he or she is dropping the student off at the school or picking up the child from the school. As used in this section, "school" and "school property" mean those terms as defined in section 237a of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.237a.
(b) A public or private child care center or day care center, public or private child caring institution, or public or private child placing agency.
(c) A sports arena or stadium.
(d) A bar or tavern licensed under the Michigan liquor control code of 1998, 1998 PA 58, MCL 436.1101 to 436.2303, where the primary source of income of the business is the sale of alcoholic liquor by the glass and consumed on the premises. This subdivision does not apply to an owner or employee of the business. The Michigan liquor control commission shall develop and make available to holders of licenses under the Michigan liquor control code of 1998, 1998 PA 58, MCL 436.1101 to 436.2303, an appropriate sign stating that "This establishment prohibits patrons from carrying concealed weapons". The owner or operator of an establishment licensed under the Michigan liquor control code of 1998, 1998 PA 58, MCL 436.1101 to 436.2303, may, but is not required to, post the sign developed under this subdivision. A record made available by an establishment licensed under the Michigan liquor control code of 1998, 1998 PA 58, MCL 436.1101 to 436.2303, necessary to enforce this subdivision is exempt from disclosure under the freedom of information act, 1976 PA 442, MCL 15.231 to 15.246.
(e) Any property or facility owned or operated by a church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship, unless the presiding official or officials of the church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship permit the carrying of concealed pistol on that property or facility.
(f) An entertainment facility with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more individuals that the individual knows or should know has a seating capacity of 2,500 or more individuals or that has a sign above each public entrance stating in letters not less than 1-inch high a seating capacity of 2,500 or more individuals.
(g) A hospital.
(h) A dormitory or classroom of a community college, college, or university.

...
(4) As used in subsection (1), "premises" does not include parking areas of the places identified under subsection (1).

(5) Subsections (1) and (2) do not apply to any of the following:

(a) An individual licensed under this act who is a retired police officer or retired law enforcement officer. The concealed weapon licensing board may require a letter from the law enforcement agency stating that the retired police officer or law enforcement officer retired in good standing.
(b) An individual who is licensed under this act and who is employed or contracted by an entity described under subsection (1) to provide security services and is required by his or her employer or the terms of a contract to carry a concealed firearm on the premises of the employing or contracting entity.
(c) An individual who is licensed as a private investigator or private detective under the professional investigator licensure act, 1965 PA 285, MCL 338.821 to 338.851.
(d) An individual who is licensed under this act and who is a corrections officer of a county sheriff's department.
(e) An individual who is licensed under this act and who is a motor carrier officer or capitol security officer of the department of state police.
(f) An individual who is licensed under this act and who is a member of a sheriff's posse.
(g) An individual who is licensed under this act and who is an auxiliary officer or reserve officer of a police or sheriff's department.
(h) An individual who is licensed under this act and who is a parole or probation officer of the department of corrections.
(i) A state court judge or state court retired judge who is licensed under this act. The concealed weapon licensing board may require a state court retired judge to obtain and carry a letter from the judicial tenure commission stating that the state court retired judge is in good standing as authorized under section 30 of article VI of the state constitution of 1963, and rules promulgated under that section, in order to qualify under this subdivision.
(j) An individual who is licensed under this act and who is a court officer.

Note: MOC believes subsection (5) is a list of "carve outs" for special politically connected groups. The rest of us are not as special and therefore are not allowed to carry concealed in the areas listed in subsection (1).

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3. I'm new to Open Carry and I do not have a CPL. Can you give me some thoughts on how to get started with Open Carry?

We have a guide on how to get started with Open Carry with Michigan if you do not have a CPL.

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4. I've heard you can Open Carry in a Conceal Carry PFZ listed in MCL 28.425o if you have a CPL, is this correct?

In short, yes, though we'd encourage you to read MSP Legal Update 86 to more fully understand the reasons behind this.  Also realize, just because the law says this, the MSP say this, and the Attorney General says it doesn't necessarily bind a judge. In People v Watkins Judge Rosemarie Aquilina stated:

Mr. Watkins contends that the combination of these laws [750.234d and 28.425o and 28.425c(2)(a)] creates an exemption for all CPL holders from the prohibition on the open possession of firearms in so-called "pistol-free zones." However, this interpretation creates an absurd result where people could openly carry a shotgun down the hallway of an elementary school or into a packed stadium of over 70,000 people if they had a CPL. While the statutes seem to contradict each other, this court agrees with the trial court's interpretation that guns cannot be openly carried in a sports arena, even if the person has a CPL.”

People v Watkins, Docket No. 10-951-AR, 30th Circuit Court, Ingham Co., April 15, 2011

In short, there is no binding case precedent in Michigan that affirms this plain text reading of the law.

Relevant statutes for further reading:

MCL 28.425o
MCL 750.234d
MCL 750.237a

Note: You cannot carry in a casino that is monitored by the State in any case (ex: one of the 3 Detroit Casinos).  Also, many Courts are made weapon free zones by enforceable Court Administrative Rules.  If you violate the Court Rule you could be found in Contempt of Court.

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5. I've heard open carry is brandishing, is this true?

Once again, there is no binding court precedent on this question but the opinion of the attorney general and MSP on this matter has become generally accepted knowledge by law enforcement. The Attorney General has said:

In the absence of any reported Michigan appellate court decisions defining "brandishing," it is appropriate to rely upon dictionary definitions. People v Denio, 454 Mich 691, 699; 564 NW2d 13 (1997). According to The American Heritage Dictionary, Second College Edition (1982), at p 204, the term brandishing is defined as: "1. To wave or flourish menacingly, as a weapon. 2. To display ostentatiously. –n. A menacing or defiant wave or flourish." This definition comports with the meaning ascribed to this term by courts of other jurisdictions. For example, in United States v Moerman, 233 F3d 379, 380 (CA 6, 2000), 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."
It is my opinion, therefore, that a reserve police officer, 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.

- Michigan Attorney General Opinion 7101

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6. I've heard that once you get your CPL you can no longer Open Carry, is this true?

This seems to be a nasty but persistent rumor that is being spread mostly by misinformed or malcontent CPL instructors across the state. Michigan Open Carry, Inc., our lawyers, and the Michigan State Police have found no statutory law or case law that supports this rumor. We wish the rumor would simply die.

To be clear, there is NO basis for this assertion. Beware of anyone that conveys it.

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7. Do "No Guns" signs on private property have the force of law in Michigan?

No (but it's complicated, read on). In Michigan law there is no special penalty or talk of "No Guns/Firearm" signs. That being said, there are a few reasons you shouldn't carry at a privately owned place where you see a "No Guns" sign:

1. There is the legal reason: if it can be proven beyond all reasonable doubt that you knew you couldn't carry there and you carry there anyways (open or concealed), you could be charged with criminal trespass. See MCL 750.552

750.552 Trespass upon lands or premises of another; violation; penalty.

(1) A person shall not do any of the following:
(a) Enter the lands or premises of another without lawful authority after having been forbidden so to do by the owner or occupant or the agent of the owner or occupant.
(b) Remain without lawful authority on the land or premises of another after being notified to depart by the owner or occupant or the agent of the owner or occupant.
(c) Enter or remain without lawful authority on fenced or posted farm property of another person without the consent of the owner or his or her lessee or agent. A request to leave the premises is not a necessary element for a violation of this subdivision. This subdivision does not apply to a person who is in the process of attempting, by the most direct route, to contact the owner or his or her lessee or agent to request consent.
(2) A person who violates subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 30 days or by a fine of not more than $250.00, or both.

The "No Guns" sign/policy establishes a condition on your "license" to use that private property. If you knowingly violate the terms of that license, you are now on private property without permission -- AKA trespass.

How would the prosecutor be able to prove beyond all reasonable doubt you knew of the policy?

A) There may be video of you entering the store with a friend while pointing at the sign and laughing about it. In this case, it could be proven you saw the sign and chose to ignore it.
B) If you have been asked in the past to leave by the owner/agent of the owner, there could be documentation and/or video evidence of this. Re-entering the property (unless you've heard from the owner/an agent of the owner otherwise) while armed would be provable trespass.

2. There is a second reason you shouldn't carry (or visit) a place that has a "no guns" policy/sign: profits. Most businesses are in business for one reason and one reason alone: to make money. Do you want to give a profit to someone who doesn't respect your right to self-defense?

Also, businesses often contribute money to political campaigns; what type of politician would you think such a business would be apt to support? A politician that supports our rights or opposes them?

Deny these anti-gun businesses the ability to exist by denying them your patronage.

3. You're asked to leave by the owner/agent of the owner and you choose to not leave immediately. The police can then be called and you can be arrested for trespass. Typically when the police arrive they will ask you to leave before arresting you for trespass -- but this certainly does not have to be the case (it would just make the prosecution's case against you even better)

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8. I don't have a Concealed Pistol License (CPL). Can I carry in/on a (BLANK)? (fill it in: Motorcycle, bicycle, tricycle, big wheel, 4-wheeler, snow mobile, city bus, cab, car)

This is a complicated answer. For those of you with a short attention span (you know who you are), here's the short answer: NO.

For those of you that want a more in depth answer:

The applicable law in this case is MCL 750.227. It reads, in relevant part:

"(2) A person shall not carry a pistol concealed on or about his or her person, or, whether concealed or otherwise, in a vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business, or on other land possessed by the person, without a license to carry the pistol as provided by law and if licensed, shall not carry the pistol in a place or manner inconsistent with any restrictions upon such license."

In the case of a vehicle you ride on, you aren't "in" it, but rather on it. If you were arrested (which could certainly happen) and had a less than fully pro-gun prosecutor and judge, this question would go to the jury:

Was the thing you were in/on a "vehicle"? The dictionary defines a vehicle as:

1. any means in or by which someone travels or something is carried or conveyed; a means of conveyance or transport: a motor vehicle; space vehicles.
2. a conveyance moving on wheels, runners, tracks, or the like, as a cart, sled, automobile, or tractor.

In the case of all of the above in the question, we'd say the answer is "yes".

With regards to a motorcycle/bicycle/other thing you ride on, I think the distinction of "in" (as 750.227) versus "on" will be lost on a jury. Good luck to you and your lawyer selling that argument. Sure, you can risk it. The consequences are tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees and the possibility of being found guilty of a five year felony (MCL 750.227). Do you want to take that risk? It's entirely up to you. If I didn't have a CPL, would I take that risk? Almost certainly not.

On the other hand, if you have loads of money and aren't bothered by the strong possibility of landing a felony (which will cost you your ability to own firearms) and you'd like to be a "test case", go for it. We can refer you to some lawyers which may be happy to take your case, for a price. By the way, almost all of these lawyers will advise you not to carry in/on ANY vehicle unless you have a CPL.

When it comes to a vehicle you are "in" (bus, car, etc.) MCL 750.227 is absolute on this answer: no, you may not legally carry.

This article has an excellent citation on the topic:

In People v Nimith, (1999 – Michigan Court of Appeals), the defendant was pulled over while operating a motorcycle. The officer noticed a gun wedged in a space near the engine and he was cited for violating the above law. The defendant argued that he was not guilty because the gun was not “in” the motorcycle, such as in a closed compartment or saddlebag. The Court upheld the conviction stating that for purposes of the statute “in” means “within the limits, bounds, or area of” the vehicle, and that there is nothing in the statute that requires that the weapon be completely enclosed to be considered “in” a vehicle. The Court also found that under these circumstances, the defendant was “carrying” the weapon because it was lodged in a location that made the weapon “readily accessible” to the defendant.
In People v Cofer (2005 – Michigan Court of Appeals), the defendant was pulled over while swerving on his motorcycle. He was arrested for drunk driving and during a search of the bike, the officer found a weapon in a jacket under the seat. The Court found that he was “carrying” the weapon “in” his motorcycle as he knew it was there.

The simple answer to avoid all of this is: get your CPL, then it is certainly legal to carry ("openly" or concealed) in/on almost any vehicle of your choosing.

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9. Can I carry on Federal Property?

This answer comes courtesy of Steve Sundeen, an attorney in south-central Michigan who has a a good understanding of firearm laws:

Carrying weapons on federal property is entirely under the purview of federal law. That being said, there are different laws and regulations, depending on where you are.

1. Federal Buildings

Buildings operated by Federal Agencies, such as the IRS, SSA, USDA, etc., and Federal Courts fall under the following law:

18 USC § 930

(a) Except as provided in subsection (d), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal facility (other than a Federal court facility), or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.

(b) Whoever, with intent that a firearm or other dangerous weapon be used in the commission of a crime, knowingly possesses or causes to be present such firearm or dangerous weapon in a Federal facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(c) A person who kills any person in the course of a violation of subsection (a) or (b), or in the course of an attack on a Federal facility involving the use of a firearm or other dangerous weapon, or attempts or conspires to do such an act, shall be punished as provided in sections 1111, 1112, 1113, and 1117.

(d) Subsection (a) shall not apply to—
(1) the lawful performance of official duties by an officer, agent, or employee of the United States, a State, or a political subdivision thereof, who is authorized by law to engage in or supervise the prevention, detection, investigation, or prosecution of any violation of law;
(2) the possession of a firearm or other dangerous weapon by a Federal official or a member of the Armed Forces if such possession is authorized by law; or
(3) the lawful carrying of firearms or other dangerous weapons in a Federal facility incident to hunting or other lawful purposes.

(e)
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), whoever knowingly possesses or causes to be present a firearm or other dangerous weapon in a Federal court facility, or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to conduct which is described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (d).

(f) Nothing in this section limits the power of a court of the United States to punish for contempt or to promulgate rules or orders regulating, restricting, or prohibiting the possession of weapons within any building housing such court or any of its proceedings, or upon any grounds appurtenant to such building.

(g) As used in this section:
(1) The term “Federal facility” means a building or part thereof owned or leased by the Federal Government, where Federal employees are regularly present for the purpose of performing their official duties.
(2) The term “dangerous weapon” means a weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than 21/2 inches in length.
(3) The term “Federal court facility” means the courtroom, judges’ chambers, witness rooms, jury deliberation rooms, attorney conference rooms, prisoner holding cells, offices of the court clerks, the United States attorney, and the United States marshal, probation and parole offices, and adjoining corridors of any court of the United States.

(h) Notice of the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal facility, and notice of subsection (e) shall be posted conspicuously at each public entrance to each Federal court facility, and no person shall be convicted of an offense under subsection (a) or (e) with respect to a Federal facility if such notice is not so posted at such facility, unless such person had actual notice of subsection (a) or (e), as the case may be.


As stated, you cannot carry any weapon into a federal building. There are a few exceptions and some have argued that self defense or having a CPL constitutes a "lawful purpose." At this time, the government and the courts have disagreed. The notices found at these buildings will typically contain language indicating that a CPL does not allow you to carry on federal property. The language of the statute does not include parking lots. In my experience, if you bring a weapon and it gets tagged by security when you are going in, they will tell you to go put it in your car and come back.

2. The Post Office

Besides the statute listed above, there is a regulation that applies to just the PO.

39 C.F.R. § 232.1(l)

Weapons and explosives. Notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, rule or regulation, no person while on postal property may carry firearms, other dangerous or deadly weapons, or explosives, either openly or concealed, or store the same on postal property, except for official purposes.


If you have ever looked around a PO, you will find this posted. It is more inclusive than the statute, as it includes all PO property, including the parking lot. At present, there is an exception.  In Bonidy v. USPS, a US District Ct. found the parking lot provision to be unconstitutional. Unfortunately for us, this only applies to Colorado, as District Court precedent only applies to that district. Ideally, this will move up and be affirmed by higher courts and apply to larger areas.

3. National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges

This is one area where state law is important. Under Federal Regulations, you can carry in these places if it would allowable under state law. See 36 CFR 2.4:

(h) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, a person may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national park area in accordance with the laws of the state in which the national park area, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law.

and,

50 CFR 27.42

(e) Notwithstanding any other provision in this Chapter, persons may possess, carry, and transport concealed, loaded, and operable firearms within a national wildlife refuge in accordance with the laws of the state in which the wildlife refuge, or that portion thereof, is located, except as otherwise prohibited by applicable Federal law.

Here is a pamphlet from the US Park Service on the subject. Please note that other federal laws still apply, including the ban on weapons in federal buildings. Therefore, you may not carry a weapon into Ranger Stations, Visitor Centers, bathrooms, or any other US Government building on these properties.

4. Indian Reservations

This is governed by tribal law. There are a number of online lists, including this rather extensive one from the Handgunlaw site. They recommend, and I agree completely, that you contact someone in authority and clarify what the rule is, preferably in writing.

5. US Army Corps of Engineers

See this pamphlet. Weapons are not allowed, except if they are unloaded and stored in a vehicle. This applies to any land owned by the Corps of a Engineers.

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10. Can I openly carry a gun registered to someone else/not registered to me?

MCL 28.422 provides:

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this act, a person shall not purchase, carry, possess, or transport a pistol in this state without first having obtained a license for the pistol as prescribed in this section.


Note: you have to have a license for the pistol you are carrying. If it is registered to someone else, you do not have a license to carry "the pistol".

There is an exception to this in MCL 28.432 for people who have a CPL:

(1) [MCL 28.422] does not apply to any of the following:

(a) A police or correctional agency of the United States or of this state or any subdivision of this state.
(b) The United States army, air force, navy, or marine corps.
c) An organization authorized by law to purchase or receive weapons from the United States or from this state.
(d) The national guard, armed forces reserves, or other duly authorized military organization.
(e) A member of an entity or organization described in subdivisions (a) through (d) for a pistol while engaged in the course of his or her duties with that entity or while going to or returning from those duties.
(f) A United States citizen holding a license to carry a pistol concealed upon his or her person issued by another state.
(g) The regular and ordinary possession and transportation of a pistol as merchandise by an authorized agent of a person licensed to manufacture firearms or a licensed dealer.
.....
(i) An individual carrying, possessing, using, or transporting a pistol belonging to another individual, if the other individual's possession of the pistol is authorized by law and the individual carrying, possessing, using, or transporting the pistol has obtained a license under section 5b to carry a concealed pistol or is exempt from licensure as provided in section 12a.



Note: The person carrying the gun must have the CPL.

Husband/Wife Scenario, Husband has CPL, wife does not:

  • Husband can lawfully carry (open or concealed) pistols registered to wife.
  • Wife cannot lawfully carry (open nor concealed) pistols registered to the husband.

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11. Can I open carry with an inside the waistband/inside the pants (IWB) holster?

The Michigan Court if Appeals appears to answer this in People v Curtis Phillips (unpublished):

http://statecasefiles.justia.com/documents/michigan/court-of-appeals-unpublished/19960830_C185231(0027)_185231.OPN.PDF

Cliff Note: it's up to the "trier of fact". That is the Judge, in a bench trial; a jury in a jury trial.

STATE OF MICHIGAN COURT OF APPEALS

PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v

CURTIS PHILLIPS,Defendant-Appellant.

Before: Gribbs, P.J., and Saad and J. P. Adair,* JJ. PER CURIAM. UNPUBLISHED

August 30, 1996

Defendant appeals from his bench trial conviction for carrying a concealed weapon, MCL 750.227; MSA 28.424. Defendant was sentenced to two years probation: we affirm.
Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he “concealed” a handgun because the arresting officers could see the butt of a gun protruding from his waistband. We disagree.
To determine whether a rational trier of fact could have found that the essential elements of the crime were proven beyond a reasonable doubt, this Court views the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution. People v Wolfe, 440 Mich 508, 515; 489 NW2d 748 (1992). A conviction for carrying a concealed weapon without a license requires proof that the accused concealed a dangerous weapon. People v Pickett, 21 Mich App 246, 248; 175 NW2d 347 (1970). Concealment is a question of fact and exists when the weapon is “not discernible by the ordinary observation of [those] coming in contact with [the accused], casually observing him, as people do in the ordinary and usual associations of life.” People v Johnnie W Jones, 12 Mich App 293, 296; 162 NW2d 847 (1968).
While searching the area for gunmen after a reported shooting, the arresting officers observed defendant standing on a nearby porch with the butt of a handgun protruding from his waistband. They were able to identify this object as the butt of a handgun based on their training and experience. The officers were no “casually observing” defendant “int he ordinary and usual associations of life,” and this was not “ordinary observation” because the officers were searching for armed suspects. A casual observer may not have discerned the object in defendant’s waistband. Therefore, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecution, a rational trier of fact could conclude there was sufficient evidence that defendant concealed a gun in his waistband.
Affirmed.
/s/ Roman S. Gribbs
/s/ Henry William Saad
/s/ James P. Adair

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12. I want to talk to a lawyer. Can you refer me to one?

We have relationships with several attorneys. While many of them will give you a free consultation, you should expect to pay handsomely for their time should you choose to employ them.

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13. I live in the City of ________.  The City has an ordinance prohibiting the possession of firearms in public.  Can they do that?

MCL 123.1102 states:

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.

Therefore, ordinances which prohibit the possession or carry of firearms in public are null and void, of no force.  This also applies to City/Township/County owned parks and facilities.  CADL v MOC extends "preemption" (that's what we call the ban on regulating firearms that applies to local governments) to other types of local governments such as: District Library Authorities, Downtown Development Authorities, Transportation Authorities, Metro-Park authorities and virtually any other type of local government in the State.  The Court of Appeals Opinion states:

Accordingly, we hold that state law preempts CADL’s weapons policy because the Legislature, through its statutory scheme in the field of firearm regulation, has completely occupied the field that CADL’s weapons policy attempts to regulate.
...
We conclude that state law preempts CADL’s weapons policy to the extent that it attempts to regulate firearms contrary to the restrictions set forth in MCL 123.1102. The library is a quasi-municipal corporation and, thus, a governmental agency subject to the principles of preemption when it attempts to regulate subject matter that is regulated by the Legislature. The Legislature, through MCL 123.1102, has expressly prohibited local government regulation of firearms and ammunition generally in cities, villages, townships, and counties, including in their libraries. Although a district library is not a local unit of government as defined by MCL 123.1101(a), legislative history, the pervasiveness of the Legislature’s regulation of firearms, and the need for exclusive, uniform state regulation of firearm possession as compared to a patchwork of inconsistent local regulations indicate that the Legislature has completely occupied the field that CADL seeks to enter.


Note: Courts are allowed to make rules regarding the possession of firearms, so a building may be owned by a City/Township, but if it contains a Court, that Court can ban guns in the building.

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14. I don't have a CPL.  Can I open carry at ________? (Insert: Meijers, Walmart, Kroger, or your favorite grocery store/place that sells liquor/beer/wine)

Here's the short answer: no.  Read on for the longer answer.  As stated in question 1 MCL 750.234d says in relevant part:

1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person shall not possess a firearm on the premises of any of the following:

...
(h) An establishment licensed under the Michigan liquor control act, Act No. 8 of the Public Acts of the Extra Session of 1933, being sections 436.1 to 436.58 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.

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

...
(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.

So unless you have a CPL or permission of the owner/owner's agent (we'd recommend that permission be in writing), you cannot open carry at any place that sells liquor, wine, or beer as all of these places are licensed by the state liquor commission.

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15. I don't live in Michigan.  Can I open carry in Michigan?

It depends.  MCL 28.422 states:

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this act, a person shall not purchase, carry, possess, or transport a pistol in this state without first having obtained a license for the pistol as prescribed in this section.

There is a relevant exception to this listed in subsection (8):

(8) An individual who is not a resident of this state is not required to obtain a license under this section if all of the following conditions apply:
(a) The individual is licensed in his or her state of residence to purchase, carry, or transport a pistol.
(b) The individual is in possession of the license described in subdivision (a).
(c) The individual is the owner of the pistol he or she possesses, carries, or transports.
(d) The individual possesses the pistol for a lawful purpose as that term is defined in section 231a of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.231a. (Editor's note: MCL 750.231a was modified by PA 427 of 2012 which removed this definition so this language is a left-over that needs to be cleaned up by the legislature)
(e) The individual is in this state for a period of 180 days or less and does not intend to establish residency in this state.

The law also prescribes a penalty for non-compliance:

(9) An individual who is a nonresident of this state shall present the license described in subsection (8)(a) upon the demand of a police officer. An individual who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both.

So, to answer the question, do you have a license from "your state of residence" to "purchase, carry, or transport a pistol"?  It is our belief, for the purposes of MCL 28.422 an Illinois FOID (Firearm Owner ID) card would meet this requirement, provided the person "resides" in IL.  We also believe that a Concealed Pistol License (CPL), Concealed Weapons License, or equivalent that was issued by your state of residence would also qualify you for this exemption.

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16. What is the legal BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) limit for carrying?

We recommend that you not consume alcohol while carrying.  That being said, there are two laws that deal with BAC levels while carrying.  There is one for general firearm possssion and one for concealed carry.

For general firearm possession, MCL 750.237 provides:

Sec. 237.

(1) An individual shall not carry, have in possession or under control, or use in any manner or discharge a firearm under any of the following circumstances:
(a) The individual is under the influence of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or a combination of alcoholic liquor and a controlled substance.
(b) The individual has an alcohol content of 0.08 or more grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine.
(c) Because of the consumption of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or a combination of alcoholic liquor and a controlled substance, the individual's ability to use a firearm is visibly impaired.

Although subsection  (b) specifies a limit of .08, you could be convicted under this statute even if your BAC is less than .08, if it can be shown:

  • You are "under the influence"
  • Your ability to use a firearm is "visibly impaired".

There is another section of law (MCL 28.425k) that deals with concealed carry:

(2) An individual shall not carry a concealed pistol or portable device that uses electro-muscular disruption technology while he or she is under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance or while having a bodily alcohol content prohibited under this section. An individual who violates this section is responsible for a state civil infraction or guilty of a crime as follows:

(a) If the person was under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance or a combination of alcoholic liquor and a controlled substance, or had a bodily alcohol content of .10 or more grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine, the individual is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or $100.00, or both. The court shall order the concealed weapon licensing board that issued the individual a license to carry a concealed pistol to permanently revoke the license. The concealed weapon licensing board shall permanently revoke the license as ordered by the court.
(b) If the person had a bodily alcohol content of .08 or more but less than .10 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine, the individual is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or $100.00, or both. The court may order the concealed weapon licensing board that issued the individual a license to carry a concealed pistol to revoke the license for not more than 3 years. The concealed weapon licensing board shall revoke the license as ordered by the court.
(c) If the person had a bodily alcohol content of .02 or more but less than .08 grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine, the individual is responsible for a state civil infraction and may be fined not more than $100.00. The court may order the concealed weapon licensing board that issued the individual the license to revoke the license for 1 year. The concealed weapon licensing board shall revoke the license as ordered by the court. The court shall notify the concealed weapon licensing board that issued the individual a license to carry a concealed pistol if an individual is found responsible for a subsequent violation of this subdivision.

Therefore, a BAC of .02 or greater exposes you to sanctions under this statute, if you are concealed carrying, as shown in subsection (c).

Also note: both statutes provide procedures for a law enforcement officer to compel you to submit to tests.  Read the statutes linked above for more details.

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17. Can I open carry with a round in the chamber.

Provided that you are otherwise carying your gun lawfully (that is, not in a pistol free zone, etc.), there is no MCL (Michigan Compiled Law -- statute), Federal law, nor case law against having a round chambered.