Open Carry Is Legal In Michigan


1) Any law abiding citizen of the State of Michigan who owns a safety inspected handgun may openly carry (in a holster) said firearm in all places not explicitly exempt by law with or without a CPL. Private property rules over-ride state law in regards to firearm possession. 

MSP Legal Update Newsletter: April 2007: Did You Know: …It is not illegal under Michigan law to openly carry a pistol…...

PLACES off limits to firearms without a CPL: Sec. 234d (1) Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2), a person shall not possess a firearm on the premises of any of the following: a) A Bank. b) A church. 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 (BAR). (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. 

2) If you don’t have a CPL, you must transport your handgun as prescribed by law. 

Michigan State Police Web Site. Transporting a pistol in a motor vehicle? 

Answer 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: 1) While en route to or from a hunting or target shooting area. 2) While transporting a pistol to or from home or place of business and a place of repair. 3) While moving goods from one place of residence or business to another place of residence or business. 4) 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. 5) While en route to or from home or place of business to a gun show or place of purchase or sale. 6) While en route to or from home to a public shooting facility or land where the discharge of firearms is permitted. 7) 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. 

3) Brandishing and disturbing the peace are not an offense while lawfully openly carrying a firearm. 

ADVISORY NOTE: Though this section on disturbing the peace does not deal with firearms, due to the nature of this code, this law has been cited by officers to suppress or discourage lawful open carry. Since a person who is not licensed to carry concealed MUST open carry their firearms on foot in order to avoid criminal charge, nor is there any duty for anyone licensed to conceal their handgun, open carry is not disorderly conduct. The open carrying of firearms is not by itself threatening, nor does it cause a hazardous or physically offensive condition.

BRANDISHING Opinion No. 7101 February 6, 2002: …In the absence of any reported Michigan appellate court decisions defining "brandishing," it is appropriate to rely upon dictionary definitions…..the term brandishing is defined as: "1. To wave or flourish menacingly, as a weapon. 2. To display ostentatiously. A menacing or defiant wave or flourish." This definition comports with the meaning ascribed to this term by courts of other jurisdictions…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." Applying these definitions to your question, it is clear that a reserve police officer, regardless whether he or she qualifies as a "peace officer," when carrying a handgun in a holster in plain view, is not waving or displaying the firearm in a threatening manner. Thus, such conduct does not constitute brandishing a firearm in violation of section 234e of the Michigan Penal Code. It is my opinion, therefore, that…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. 

4) A person openly carrying a firearm on foot in a legal manner when approached by a police officer and questioned where the only reason for the questioning is because of the openly carried firearm need not give that officer their name and address. No license or ID is required to openly carry a firearm. It is your option to provide ID/CPL. 

ADVISORY NOTE: Each situation is different. We recommend you cooperate with all lawful questions and requests. Ask the officer if the reason you are being detained is for the legal open carry of a firearm. After giving your name and address, ask if you are free to go, ask if you are being detained. If they continue to ask questions about ID and why you are carrying a gun, repeat the question, am I free to go? Am I being detained? If the situation escalates ask for a supervisor. Remember the officer can arrest you for anything, don’t resist the arrest. After an illegal arrest you may have legal options you can employ.