Michigan Concealed Weapons and gun laws in general are the most misunderstood laws in the Michigan penal code. The idea of requiring a license to carry a concealed weapon (normally a pistol) is defended only by the fact that it prevents felons and other civilians who have a violent background from legally caring or possessing a pistol. The problem with this defense is that in the state of Michigan, in order to legally purchase a pistol you have to acquire a permit to purchase from the local police station or county office of which you reside. During the application process the police chief runs a background check to determine if you would be ineligible to purchase a pistol due to previous felonies, mental problems, or violent crimes.
Most Michigan residents do not realize that you do not need to have a concealed pistol license to carry a pistol in the state of Michigan. Michigan has traditionally always been an open carry state. In the state of Michigan when you are on foot you are allowed to openly carry a pistol as long as it is in a holster. The weapon is allowed to be loaded and ready to go. You will not be in violation of Michigan’s gun brandishing laws, which state to be in violation you must be displaying the gun in a threatening manner without malice.
A concealed weapon license (also known as CPL or CCW) allows you to carry your pistol in a concealed fashion; which includes in your vehicle or being tucked under your shirt, in your pocket or otherwise out of the public eye. The penal code also states that CPL holders CAN openly carry in pistol free zones.
Concealed weapon laws in Michigan are not the answer to gun control, but in the same argument they really do not infringe on our rights to bear arms, you just have to bear them in a manner where they are clearly visible to those around you, not concealed.
There is an argument to be raised about having a pistol in your car being a concealed weapon, as technically your vehicle is your property. As long as the pistol is clearly visible inside your car it should not be considered concealed, however to date it still is. Michigan recently changed their gun transport laws to allow you to transport a pistol in your vehicle as long as it is for a legal purpose. The stipulations to this new law are you must have the weapon unloaded and out of the reach of the vehicles occupants. The ammunition must be stored separately from the gun.
Please keep in mind that even though open carry in Michigan is completely legal, you will attract a lot of attention to yourself doing so. I personally carry around a printout of the open carry law, and educate all those who ask me about it. Most law enforcers are now aware of Michigan’s open carry laws so you should not receive too many problems from the police. When making the decision to open carry, remember you cannot enter your vehicle with your gun loaded or on your hip, it must be transported according to current state law. Remember violating Michigan’s concealed weapon laws will result in a felony and you WILL serve at least 2 years in prison. Please spread the knowledge of open carry and do it with pride knowing you can protect and defend yourself, your family, your state, and your country without necessarily needing a license to do so.