CCW Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

pistol & holsterThis information is provided from the Michigan State Police website, as a public service, for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be relied upon as legal authority for the Michigan firearms laws. You should consult with a private attorney or your local Michigan county prosecutor for a legal interpretation or any updates of the Michigan statutes.


1.  What are the requirements to receive a concealed pistol permit?
MCL 28.425b   Please select the below website for an outlined description. Please see:
requirements to obtain a permit


2.  Is my CCW permit issued before July 1, 2001 still valid?  If so, once it expires, how do I renew?
Yes. It is valid until its expiration or the authority to carry a concealed pistol under that license is otherwise terminated. If it is a restricted license you must continue to abide by those restrictions.

However, after July 1, 2001, all persons licensed to carry a concealed pistol in Michigan must comply with provisions in the new CCW law including but not limited to prohibitions against carrying in a "pistol free" area and the requirements listed in:
encounters with police

pistol free zones

MCL 28.425l   Please see:  Permit Renewal  for an outlined description for renewal procedures.

permit renewal

3.  What must a CCW permit holder do when "stopped" by police?
Please See:
encounters with police

4.  Are there any places where I may not carry a concealed pistol?
MCL 28.425o   Anyone licensed to carry a concealed pistol from Michigan or another state shall not carry a concealed pistol in any of the pistol free zones. For a complete list, please see:
pistol free zones 

5.  When may a concealed pistol be seized?
28.425g.   Pistol subject to seizure and forfeiture.
Sec. 5g.   A pistol carried in violation of this act is subject to seizure and forfeiture in the same manner that property is subject to seizure and forfeiture under sections 4701 to 4709 of the revised judicature act of 961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.4701 to 600.4709. This section does not apply if the violation is a state civil infraction under section 5f unless the individual fails to present his or her license within the 45-day period described in that section. MCL 28.421 sec.

6.  Is a permit to carry a concealed pistol issued by another state valid in Michigan?
Please see:

7.  If I do not have a CCW permit, may I transport my pistol in a motor vehicle?
A person is now permitted to transport a pistol for a lawful purpose if the owner or occupant of the vehicle is the registered owner of the firearm and the pistol is unloaded and in a closed case in the trunk of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the pistol may be in the passenger compartment of the vehicle unloaded and inaccessible to the occupants of the vehicle.


The law defines 'lawful purpose' as:

  • While en route to or from a hunting or target shooting area.
  • While transporting a pistol to or from home or place of business and a place of repair.
  • While moving goods from one place of residence or business to another place of residence or business.
  • While transporting a licensed pistol to or from a law enforcement agency for the purpose of having a safety inspection performed [registering the pistol] or to have a law enforcement official take possession of the pistol.
  • While en route to or from home or place of business to a gun show or place of purchase or sale.
  • While en route to or from home to a public shooting facility or land where the discharge of firearms is permitted.
  • While en route to or from home to private property where the pistol is to be used as permitted by law, rule, regulation, or local ordinance.

8.  I work as a security guard. Does my profession entitle me to carry a concealed pistol without a license in Michigan as required by my employer?
MCL 750.227   No. You can only carry a pistol while on duty on the premises of your employer and only if it is exposed.

If you wish to carry a pistol concealed, you must obtain a concealed pistol license through the county gunboard.

28.425n[2]b   This does not prohibit an employer from prohibiting the carrying of the concealed pistol while in the course of his or her employment with that employer.

9.  Are there any fees for the following Michigan forms:

License to Purchase:   MCL 28.423 was repealed by PA 381 of 2000 eliminating the $5 processing fee for obtaining a License to Purchase.

Safety Inspection Certificate [registration]:   MCL 28.429 There is no charge for the Safety Inspection Certificate.

License to Carry a Concealed Pistol:   MCL 28.425b[5] The application fee is $105 payable to the county clerk at the time the application is filed. A local police agency may charge an additional fee up to $15 for fingerprinting costs.



1.  Do I need a concealed pistol permit to carry my pistols while walking through the woods near my cabin in Michigan? If not, are there any restrictions on how or where the gun is carried?
MCL 28.422   No license is needed to carry a pistol as long as it is exposed. However, should a person cover the pistol during inclement weather with a jacket or coat or get into a vehicle, the pistol would be concealed, and the carrier would place himself in jeopardy unless he possessed a concealed pistol permit.  Per Attorney General's opinion #3158 dated February 14, 1945, a holster, in plain view, is not considered concealed. Department of Natural Resources regulations require a person to have a valid Michigan hunting license if in an area inhabited by wildlife.

2.  I have a replica of an antique pistol. Is it necessary that this pistol be registered in Michigan? Is it necessary that I obtain a Michigan Concealed Pistols License?
MCL 28.429   The pistol does not have to be registered if it is kept solely as a curio or relic and not made for modern ammunition. If carried or used in any other manner, you must complete both a License to Purchase and Safety Inspection Certificate.

3.  How old do I have to be in order to have a pistol registered in my name in Michigan?
MCL 28.422 & 28.429   Eighteen [18] years of age.

4.  How old do I have to be in order to apply for a concealed pistol permit?
MCL 28.421   Twenty-one [21] years of age.

5.  I lost my Michigan pistol registration [Safety Inspection Certificate]. How do I go about getting another one?
MCL 28.429   You should contact your local law enforcement agency, where you currently reside, and request they re-register your pistol. Confirmation of prior registration can be made by that agency with the Michigan State Police, Firearms Records Unit, in Lansing. Another corresponding License to Purchase must be completed.

6.  My pistol, along with the Michigan registration [Safety Inspection Certificate] and my Michigan Concealed Pistols License, were stolen and I need to provide my insurance company and the police agency with the description of my gun, what should I do?
You can request the information through Freedom of Information, Michigan State Police, 7510 Harris Drive, Lansing, MI 48913, at the cost of $5 per document.

7.  In Michigan, what is a License to Purchase and is one needed in every case where a pistol is acquired?
MCL 28.422   A License to Purchase is a license required prior to acquisition by purchase, gift, or loan. The important part of the License to Purchase is the affidavit signed by the purchaser swearing to their own qualifications.  A License to Purchase is not needed for anyone with a concealed pistol license, firearms dealers purchasing from wholesalers, or for relics, curios, antiques, etc., not made for modern ammunition but kept solely as a curio or relic.

8.  What are the steps necessary to purchase and legally possess a pistol in Michigan without a concealed pistol license?
MCL 28.422 & MCL 28.429   The prospective purchaser must successfully pass [70%] a basic pistol safety questionnaire and obtain a License to Purchase, which is valid for 10 days, from the local law enforcement agency. The purchaser must sign a notarized sworn statement that they meet the Michigan qualifications to purchase/obtain a pistol. At the time of the purchase, the purchaser and the seller complete the form. The License to Purchase, along with the pistol, must be returned to the local law enforcement agency within 10 days to obtain a Safety Inspection Certificate [registration].

9.  I was arrested for making threats against my wife. As part of my probation the judge ordered the gun turned over to the state police. Can it be returned to me, and, if so, when can I claim it?
MCL 750.239   The statute requires weapons carried, possessed or used contrary to the Concealed Weapons Act to be forfeited to the Director of the Department of State Police. Prior to disposition, the forfeited weapons are retained for a reasonable length of time pending any possible appeal or litigation. There are no provisions in the act for any other disposition.

10.  In Michigan, can I carry a self-defense spray in my car or on my person for protection?
MCL 750.224d   Yes, but only if it is either:

  • Not more than 35 grams of any combination of orthochlorobenzalmalononitrile and inert ingredients [CS gas]; or
  • A solution containing not more than 2% oleoresin capsicum [pepper spray] and is used in the protection of your person or property which would justify the use of physical force. It cannot be sold to a minor. 

11.  In Michigan, can I carry tear gas or mace
["CN gas"] in my car or on my person for protection?
MCL 750.224d   No, under the statute and according to an Attorney General's opinion, a private citizen cannot possess tear gas or mace.

12.  I am on leave from military service. Does this exempt me from having to register the pistols I brought with me to Michigan?
MCL 28.422   No, you have 30 days in which to pass the basic pistol safety questionnaire and obtain a License to Purchase after your arrival into the state. You then have ten days in which to present the pistol for a Safety Inspection Certificate [registration].

13.  My uncle had a .357 magnum revolver registered in his name when he died. My brother has had custody of the gun but now wants to give it to me. What procedure do I follow to gain legal possession of this gun in Michigan, since my uncle obviously cannot sign it over to me?
MCL 28.422   Michigan statutes provide for the personal representative of the estate or next of kin having authority to dispose of the pistol to sign the License to Purchase as the seller.

14.  I am giving my registered pistols to my son who lives in another state. How do I get the Michigan Safety Inspection Certificates out of my name?
There are no provisions in the statute; however, send a letter to the Michigan State Police, Firearms Records Unit, 7150 Harris Drive, Lansing, Michigan 48913, advising of the transaction. The letter must include a description of the pistols, your son's name and address, and the date of transaction in order for the Firearms Records Unit to update their records. Your son must comply with the Weapons Laws of his own state.

15.  I have just moved to Michigan from another state. How much time do I have to register my pistols?
MCL 28.422 & MCL 28.429   Upon establishing legal residency, you should immediately contact your local law enforcement agency, pass the basic safety questionnaire, and complete both a License to Purchase and Safety Inspection Certificate.

16.  Do rifles or shotguns with collapsible/folding stocks have to be registered in Michigan?
MCL 750.222   Yes, provided the rifle or shotgun is 30 inches or less in overall length with the stock collapsed/folded but at least 26 inches and the barrel length is at least 16 inches and 18 inches respectively.  Attorney General's opinion #6280: if the firearm is less than 26 inches in overall length or the barrel is less than 16 or 18 inches respectively, the firearm is considered a short-barreled rifle or shotgun and is illegal to possess.  MCL 750.224d   There is an exception for short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles which the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has found to be a curio, relic, antique, museum piece, or collector's item not likely to be used as a weapon.

The possessor must comply with Section 2 [License to Purchase] and Section 9 [Safety Inspection Certificate/registration] of Act 372.

17.  What are the requirements or criteria that cause weapons to be forfeited to the State of Michigan?
MCL 750.239   Any pistol, weapon or device possessed, carried or used contrary to the Concealed Weapons Act and/or Penal Code requires forfeiture to the Director of the Department of State Police. This includes shotguns, rifles, knives, clubs, or any article used as a weapon.

18.  I recently purchased a double-edged survival knife. Does Michigan law allow me to carry this in my vehicle?
MCL 750.227   No. A double-edged cutting instrument, no matter what the length, cannot be carried concealed on or about a person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person.

19.  I want to purchase as UZI Model B, 9MM semi-automatic carbine with a folding stock. Are these legal in Michigan?
Under MCL 750.222 and Attorney General's Opinion #6820, the answer is no. The UZI carbine [barrel length 16.1 inches, length with stock contracted 24.4 inches, length with stock extended 31.5 inches] is a short-barreled rifle and their SALE and/or POSSESSION is prohibited according to an Attorney General's opinion.

20.  I am an out-of-state resident. Can I legally hunt deer with a pistol in Michigan?
MCL 750.231a   If you have a license to carry a concealed pistol issued by another state, you may qualify to possess a pistol while hunting depending on the license restrictions and providing you are also in possession of a valid Michigan non-resident hunting license. You must transport the pistol, while en route to or from a hunting area, unloaded, in a wrapper or container, and locked in the trunk of the motor vehicle. If the vehicle has no trunk, the pistol must be unloaded in a wrapper or container in an area of the motor vehicle not readily accessible to the occupants of the vehicle.

21.  Is a paint ball pistol required to be registered in Michigan?
Upon initial review, it has not been found that a paint ball pistol falls under the definition of a dangerous weapon or firearm, therefore is not required at this time to be registered.

22.  Is a flare gun used as a signaling device on a watercraft required to be registered in Michigan?
MCL 28.432b and 750.231c, No.  




handgun1.  Who can I contact with questions concerning federal regulations on pistols?
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, Area Supervisor, Compliance, 1155 Brewery Park Boulevard, Suite 300A, Detroit, Michigan 48207-2602.
Ph: 313-393-0078.

2.  I am moving to California. I have a pistol registered in my name in Michigan. Is it legal for me to carry this gun in the car with me to my new location?
The May 19, 1986, revision of the Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 now allows for transportation of pistols from one state to another providing the pistol is legally possessed in the state of origin, and possession is permitted in the state of destination. It must be transported unloaded and in a locked container inaccessible to the occupants.

3.  My father-in-law, who lives in Georgia, has two pistols which he wants to give me. Can I legally go to Georgia and bring the guns back to Michigan?
No. The Federal Gun Control Act of 1968 generally prohibits the transportation into or receipt in the state where a person resides of a firearm obtained outside of that state. The transfer of the pistols would be lawful if your father-in-law sends the pistols via common carrier [such as UPS] to a licensed firearms dealer in Michigan. The Michigan firearms dealer can then transfer the pistol over to you providing you have obtained Licenses to Purchase.

4.  I have a federal license to collect curios and relics. Can I legally possess a fully-automatic firearm in Michigan?
Under the Federal Gun Control Act, individuals may possess only those fully-automatic firearms which were manufactured before May 19, 1986.
MCL 750.224   Yes, but only if the firearm is classified under federal statutes as a curio or relic. If the fully-automatic firearm is a pistol, then you must obtain a License to Purchase and present the pistol for a Safety Inspection Certificate.




1.  Are gun dealers in Michigan licensed; and if so, who licenses them?
Yes, by the U.S. Treasury Department, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. Michigan has no law specifically for license dealers; however, dealers must obtain a Michigan Sales Tax License and comply with Michigan License to Purchase requirements.

2.  I am a firearms dealer in Michigan. Is it necessary for me to forward a report to the State Police for each pistol I purchase or take in on trade?
MCL 28.422   Yes. A Dealer's License to Purchase must be obtained from your local law enforcement agency for these transactions. The State Police copy should be returned to the issued agency along with their copy. The only time a License to Purchase is not required to be transacted for pistols is when purchasing from a wholesaler.

3.  In Michigan, can I as a licensed Federal Firearms Dealer, legally transport pistols which I acquire through purchase or trade without a Michigan Concealed Pistols License based on possession of the federal license?
MCL 28.432a   Only to and from the place of purchase to place of business. The pistol may be transported unloaded in a wrapper or container in the trunk of the vehicle. The pistol may be transported unloaded in a wrapper or container in the passenger compartment of a vehicle which does not have a trunk if it is not readily accessible to the occupants.

Per U.S. Gun Control Act, Part 178 of Title 27, bear in mind the federal license confers no right or privilege to conduct business contrary to state law or other law. The holder of a federal license is not by reason of such a license, immune from punishment in violation of the provisions of any state law or other law.

4.  I have a Class III Federal License to sell certain types of fully-automatic pistols and machine guns. Can I legally sell these firearms in Michigan?
Under the National Firearms Act, only those firearms which have been previously registered in the National Firearms Register and Transfer Record maintained by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms may be lawfully transferred to a person who is qualified to receive such firearms.

Benny N. Napoleon
Wayne County Sheriff
(313) 224-2222

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