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Note: The processes listed below apply to the majority of people. If you are active-duty military, honorably discharged military, law enforcement, or retired law enforcement, the processes below may be slightly different (easier) when applying for a concealed carry permit.
Types of Concealed Carry Permits
Note: Michigan (MI) sometimes refers to their concealed carry permit as a concealed pistol license (CPL).
- Must be a minimum of 21 years old to apply
- Must reside in Michigan for 6 months, be registered to vote in Michigan, or upon establishing residency have a concealed carry permit from your previous state of residence
- Valid for 4-5 years, expires on your date of birth that falls not less than 4 years or more than 5 years after the license is issued or renewed
- Costs $100 (+$Safety Course)
Note: Any resident that is 18 years old and can legally possess a firearm may open carry. However, the firearm must belong to yourself. No permit is required in this case. Go here for more information on open carry.
Is it Required to Carry Concealed?
No – you may open carry or carry concealed with a concealed pistol license.
May Issue or Shall Issue?
Michigan is a shall issue state, meaning the law states that they shall issue a permit if you meet all requirements.
Process to Apply
To get a concealed pistol license in Michigan, you are required to apply with the county clerk in your county of residence.
- Complete a Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) certified handgun safety course that includes live fire. Courses taken through state or national firearm training organizations such as the National Rifle Association may also be accepted. To successfully complete an MCOLES certified course, a participant must complete the following outlined here.
- You can find an approved instructor or course on The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners website here.
- Note: Check with MCOLES, The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners, the Michigan State Police, or your county clerk before taking a course to ensure the course you take is approved.
- Go to the county clerk’s office in your town of residence. Bring the following items with you:
- A copy of the certificate that proves you completed a MI approved handgun safety course.
- Present your MI state issued I.D. or driver’s license.
- If you don’t have a digitized photograph on file with the Michigan Secretary of State, bring a color passport sized photograph of yourself within the last 30 days. This should be from the shoulders up.
- Application fee: A check or money order for $100 made payable to your town’s county clerk.
- After turning in this paperwork, get a complete set of fingerprints taken to initiate a criminal background check. You can get these taken at the county clerk’s office, state police office, sheriff’s office, local police agency, or other entity that provides fingerprinting services. The fingerprints should be forwarded to the Michigan State Police for processing. Make sure to get a receipt, which is required to state the following:
- Your name.
- Date and time the receipt is issued.
- The amount paid.
- The name of the entity providing fingerprint services.
- Your state issued driver’s license or I.D. number.
- The statement “This receipt was issued for the purpose of applying for a CPL. As provided in section 5b of 1927 PA 372, MCL 28.425(b), if a license or notice of statutory disqualification is not issued within 45 days after the date this receipt was issued, this receipt shall serve as a CPL for the individual named in the receipt when carried with an official state issued driver’s license or personal identification card. The receipt is valid as a license until a license or notice of statutory disqualification is issued by the county clerk. This receipt does not exempt the individual named in the receipt from complying with all applicable laws for the purchases of firearms.”
After these steps are completed, the Michigan State Police is legally required to inform you in 45 days or less whether the permit has been approved or denied. A denial, whether it be for a new issue or a renewal, may be appealed.
Reasons an Applicant Won’t Be Approved
Your application is almost guaranteed to be denied if you meet any of the following conditions:
- You are illegally in the United States.
- You’ve been convicted of a felony.
- You’ve been convicted of a violent crime, including domestic violence.
- You’ve been convicted of a crime punishable by a prison term greater than 1 year.
- You are subject to a restraining order or other similar court order.
- You are a drug addict, habitual drunkard, an unlawful user of any controlled substance, or are determined to be of unsound mind.
- You have a mental illness.
- You’ve received voluntary or involuntary treatment in a psychiatric hospital, mental institution, or similar treatment facility for any reason.
- You are a fugitive from justice.
- You’ve been dishonorably discharged from the Armed Forces.
- You are subject to a firearms seizure order.
- You’ve been convicted of any of the following misdemeanor violations within the last 8 years:
- Failing to stop when involved in a personal injury accident (MCL 257.617a).
- Operating while intoxicated or with any presence of a Schedule 1 controlled substance or cocaine, punishable as a second offense under, MCL 257.625(9)(b) (MCL 257.625).
- Operating a commercial motor vehicle with alcohol content, punishable as a second offense under MCL 257.625m(4) (MCL 257.625m).
- Reckless driving (MCL 257.626).
- Operating while license suspended/revoked/denied or never applied for a license, punishable as a second or subsequent offense (MCL 257.904(1)).
- Operating an aircraft while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance with prior conviction(MCL 259.185).
- Hindering or obstructing certain persons performing official weights and measures duties (MCL 290.629).
- Hindering, obstructing, assaulting, or committing bodily injury upon director of the Department of Agriculture or authorized representative of the director (MCL 290.650).
- Operating a vessel under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance, or with an unlawful blood alcohol content, punishable as a second or subsequent offense under MCL 324.80177(1)(b) (MCL 324.80176)
- Operating an off-road vehicle (ORV) under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance or with an unlawful alcohol content, punishable as a second or subsequent offense under MCL 324.81134(8)(b) (MCL 324.81134).
- Operating a snowmobile under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance, or with an unlawful blood alcohol content, or with any presence of a Schedule 1 controlled substance or cocaine, punishable as a second or subsequent offense under MCL 324.82128(1)(b) (MCL 324.82127).
- Possessing a controlled substance, controlled substance analogue, or prescription form (MCL 333.7403).
- Operating a locomotive under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance, or while visibly impaired, punishable as a second offense under MCL 462.353(4) (MCL 462.353).
- Displaying sexually explicit matter to minors (MCL 722.677).
- Assault or domestic assault (MCL 750.81).
- Aggravated assault or aggravated domestic assault (MCL 750.81a(1) or (2)).
- Breaking and entering or entering without breaking (MCL 750.115).
- Fourth-degree child abuse (MCL 750.136b(7)).
- Vulnerable adult abuse (MCL 750.145n).
- Solicitation to commit a felony (MCL 750.157b(3)(b)).
- Impersonating a peace officer or medical examiner (MCL 750.215).
- Illegal sale of a firearm or ammunition (MCL 750.223).
- Illegal use or sale of a self-defense spray or foam device (MCL 750.224d).
- Sale or possession of a switchblade (MCL 750.226a).
- Improper transporting or possessing a loaded firearm in or upon a vehicle (MCL 750.227c).
- Pawnbroker accepting a pistol in pawn, or any second-hand or junk dealer accepting a pistol and offering or displaying it for resale (MCL 750.229).
- Failure to register the purchase of a firearm or a firearm component (MCL 750.232).
- Improperly obtaining a pistol, making a false statement on an application to purchase a pistol, or using or attempting to use false identification of another to purchase a pistol (MCL 750.232a).
- Intentionally pointing or aiming a firearm without malice (MCL 750.233).
- Discharging a firearm while intentionally aimed without malice (MCL 750.234).
- Possessing a firearm on prohibited premises (MCL 750.234d).
- Brandishing a firearm in public (MCL 750.234e).
- Possession of a firearm in public by an individual less than 18 years of age (MCL 750.234f).
- Discharging a firearm pointed or aimed intentionally without malice causing injury (MCL 750.235).
- Parent of a minor who violates the Firearms Chapter of the Michigan Penal Code in a weapon-free school zone (MCL 750.235a).
- Setting a spring or other gun, or any trap or device (MCL 750.236).
- Carrying, possessing, using, or discharging a firearm while under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance, while having an unlawful alcohol content, or while visibly impaired (MCL 750.237).
- Weapon-free school zone violation (MCL 750.237a).
- Indecent exposure (MCL 750.335a).
- Stalking (MCL 750.411h).
- Fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct (MCL 750.520e).
- Failure to have a pistol inspected (Former MCL 750.228).
- Careless, reckless, or negligent use of a firearm resulting in injury or death (MCL 752.861).
- Careless, reckless, or negligent use of a firearm resulting in property damage (MCL 752.862).
- Reckless discharge of a firearm (MCL 752.863a).
- A violation of a law elsewhere in the United States that substantially corresponds to a violation described above.
- You’ve been convicted of any of the following misdemeanor violations within the last 3 years:
- Operating while intoxicated, visibly impaired, under 21 years of age with any bodily alcohol content, or with any presence of a Schedule 1 controlled substance or cocaine (MCL 257.625).
- Refusal of commercial motor vehicle operator to submit to a preliminary chemical breath test (MCL 257.625a).
- Ignition interlock device reporting violation (MCL 257.625k).
- Circumventing or tampering with an ignition interlocking device (MCL 257.625l).
- Operating a commercial motor vehicle with alcohol content, punishable under MCL 257.625m(3) (MCL 257.625m).
- Operating an aircraft under the influence of intoxicating liquor or a controlled substance (MCL 259.185).
- Operating an ORV under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance, with an unlawful alcohol content, with any presence of a Schedule 1 controlled substance or cocaine, or while visibly impaired (MCL 324.81134).
- Operating a snowmobile under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance, with an unlawful blood alcohol content, with any presence of a Schedule 1 controlled substance or cocaine, or while visibly impaired (MCL 324.82127).
- Controlled substance violation (MCL 333.7401 to 333.7461).
- Operating a locomotive under the influence of alcoholic liquor or a controlled substance, while visibly impaired, or with an unlawful alcohol content, punishable under MCL 462.353(3) (MCL 462.353).
- Disorderly person (MCL 750.167).
- Embezzlement (MCL 750.174).
- False pretenses with intent to defraud or cheat (MCL 750.218)
- Larceny (MCL 750.356).
- Second or third degree retail fraud (MCL 750.356d).
- Larceny from vacant structure or building (MCL 750.359).
- Larceny by conversion (MCL 750.362).
- Refuse or neglect to return vehicle, trailer, or other tangible property delivered on a rental or lease basis with intent to defraud the lessor (MCL 750.362a).
- Malicious destruction of personal property (MCL 750.377a).
- Malicious destruction of real property (MCL 750.380).
- Buying, receiving, possessing, concealing, or aiding in the concealment of stolen, embezzled, or converted property (MCL 750.535).
- Malicious use of service provided by telecommunications service provider (MCL 750.540e).
- A violation of a law elsewhere in the United States that substantially corresponds to a violation described above.
Location Restrictions for Carrying
It is unlawful to carry a handgun, even if you have a concealed carry permit, in the following locations:
- Federal buildings.
- Federal prisons.
- Indian reservations.
- Post offices.
- Military bases.
- School grounds, including colleges and universities.
- However, you may carry in a vehicle with a concealed carry permit if you’re a legal guardian picking up or dropping off.
- Child day-care center.
- Passed the security checkpoint at airports.
- Jails, prisons, or other correctional facilities.
- Psychiatric hospitals or mental institutions.
- Places of worship, unless authorized by the presiding official.
- Sports arenas or stadiums.
- Any entertainment facility that has a seating capacity of 2,500+ people.
- Bars, or any establishment where the primary source of income is through the sale of alcohol meant to be consumed on the premises.
- Anywhere you decide to consume alcohol. You cannot carry a firearm if you consume any alcohol.
Transporting a Handgun Through & Throughout MI
With a Concealed Carry Permit
If you have a MI or MI recognized concealed carry permit, you may transport a loaded handgun on your person in a vehicle.
Without a Concealed Carry Permit
If you legally possess a handgun, but do not have a MI or MI recognized concealed carry permit, you may transport a handgun through (from another state into MI) and throughout (within MI) under the following conditions:
- The firearm must be unloaded.
- The firearm (and ammunition) cannot be readily accessible by the driver or any passengers.
- The firearm is in a closed case designed for the storage of firearms in the trunk of the vehicle.
- If the vehicle doesn’t have a trunk, the firearm needs to be stored somewhere it isn’t readily accessible by the driver or any passengers.
Additional Notes About MI Handgun Law
Does MI Law Incorporate Stand Your Ground?
The Stand Your Ground law permits you to use force, and not retreat, when faced with a threat. Stand Your Ground protects your use of force, even deadly force, when used to protect yourself or others if you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death. To be protected under Stand Your Ground, you must be in a place where you have the lawful right to be.
Does MI Law Incorporate the Castle Doctrine?
The Castle Doctrine is similar to Stand Your Ground. The Castle Doctrine permits you to use force (even deadly force), and not retreat, when you’re in your own home. This again assumes you reasonably believe there is an imminent threat of serious harm or death on yourself or others in your home.
This ‘castle’ is sometimes broadened to cover you when you’re in your yard, car, etc. Each state’s Castle Doctrine law is written differently – consult your state’s law to confirm if your state extends the meaning of a ‘castle’ to cover more than just your home.
Reciprocity – What State Permits Does MI Recognize?
All Resident Permits. MI honors every other states’ concealed carry permits so long as the permit was issued to a resident of the state.
Reciprocity – Where is the MI Permit Recognized?
The MI concealed carry permit is recognized in the following states: