Ammunition Regulation in Michigan

Laws Prohibiting Certain Persons from Purchasing/Possessing Ammunition

Michigan prohibits handgun sellers from selling ammunition to any person the seller knows is under indictment for a felony or is prohibited by state law from possessing a firearm.1 See the Michigan Prohibited Purchasers Generally section for a list of these individuals.

Federal ammunition purchaser prohibitions also apply.

Regulation of Unreasonably Dangerous Ammunition

Michigan generally prohibits any person from manufacturing, distributing, selling or using armor-piercing ammunition.2 “Armor piercing ammunition” means a projectile or projectile core which may be used in a handgun and is constructed entirely, excluding the presence of traces of other substances, of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, beryllium copper, or a combination of tungsten alloys, steel, iron, brass, bronze, or beryllium copper, and does not include:

  • Shotgun shot that is required by federal law or by a law of this state to be used for hunting purposes;
  • A frangible projectile designed for target shooting;
  • A projectile that the director of the Michigan Department of State Police finds is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes; or
  • A projectile or projectile core that the director of the Michigan Department of State Police finds is intended to be used for industrial purposes.3

The federal prohibition on certain kinds of armor-piercing ammunition also applies.

Michigan does not:

  • Require a license for the sale of ammunition;
  • Ensure that sellers of ammunition maintain records of the purchasers; or
  • Require a license to purchase or possess ammunition.

See our Ammunition Regulation policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.223(3). A “seller” is a person who sells, furnishes, loans, or gives a handgun to another person. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.222(g). ⤴︎
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.224c(1). ⤴︎
  3. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.224c(3)(a). ⤴︎

Background Checks in Michigan

Federal law generally requires federally licensed firearms dealers (but not private sellers) to initiate a background check on the purchaser prior to sale of a firearm. Federal law provides states with the option of serving as a state “point of contact” and conducting their own background checks using state, as well as federal, records and databases, or having the checks performed by the FBI using only the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database. (Note that state files are not always included in the federal database.)

Michigan is a partial point-of-contact state for NICS. Background checks requested by licensed dealers are processed directly through the FBI, which enforces the federal purchaser prohibitions referenced above.1 If the seller of a handgun is not a federally licensed dealer, Michigan requires that the purchaser have either a valid handgun purchase license or a license to carry a concealed handgun2 Prospective handgun purchase licensees are subject to a background check as part of the licensing process for each purchase license—and thus for each handgun purchased—through the Michigan Department of State Police.3 Concealed handgun licensees only have to submit to a background check once every five years, at the time of renewal of their concealed carry license.4  Michigan enacted a law in 2015 to require concealed handgun licensing authorities to conduct background checks through the state’s law enforcement information network and the FBI’s NICS database.5

Federal law does not require dealers to conduct a background check if a firearm purchaser presents a state permit to purchase or possess firearms that meets certain conditions. As a result, Michigan handgun purchase license holders, and Michigan concealed pistol license holders with licenses issued on or after November 22, 2005, are exempt from the federal background check requirement when purchasing a firearm.6 (Note, however, that people who have become prohibited from possessing firearms may continue to hold state firearms licenses if the state fails to remove these licenses in a timely fashion.)

Long gun transfers by private sellers (non-firearms dealers) are not subject to background checks in Michigan.

See the Michigan Prohibited Persons Generally section for state-defined prohibited categories for the purchase and possession of guns.

See our Background Checks policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Instant Criminal Background Check System Participation Map, at http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/general-information/participation-map. ⤴︎
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.422a(1). A federally licensed firearms dealer is also exempt from the handgun purchase licensing requirement when purchasing and transporting handguns. Id. ⤴︎
  3. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.422(3), (5). ⤴︎
  4. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 28.425b(6), 28.425l(1)(stating that “a license to carry a concealed handgun is valid until the applicant’s date of birth that falls not less than 4 years or more than 5 years after the license is issued or renewed.”) ⤴︎
  5. See 2015 Mich. S.B. 34 (amending Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425b(6).) ⤴︎
  6. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, Brady Law: Permanent Brady Permit Chart (Jun. 10, 2014), at: https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/permanent-brady-permit-chart. ⤴︎

Child Access Prevention in Michigan

Michigan penalizes any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not willful or wanton conduct, causes or allows any firearm under his or her immediate control to be discharged and kill or injure another person.1

In addition, Michigan provides criminal liability for a parent of any child under age 18 whose child violates a state firearm-related law while on school property or in a school vehicle, if the parent had custody of the child and: 1) knew the child would commit the violation; or 2) acted to further the violation.2

See the Michigan Dealer Regulations section for requirements that dealers post child safety notices.

See our Child Access Prevention policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 752.861. Michigan also prohibits any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not willful or wanton conduct, causes or allows any firearm under his or her immediate control to be discharged and destroy or injure another person’s real or personal property. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 752.862. ⤴︎
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.235a. ⤴︎

Concealed Weapons Permitting in Michigan

See our Carrying Concealed Weapons policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Michigan generally prohibits any person from carrying a handgun concealed on or about his or her person without a concealed handgun license, other than at his or her own residence, on his or her own land, or at his or her place of business.1

Michigan is a “shall” issue state, meaning that licensing authorities must issue a concealed handgun license if the applicant meets certain qualifications.2 Previously, concealed handgun licenses were issued by each county’s “concealed weapon licensing boards” (CWLB).  However, in 2015 Michigan passed a law to eliminate these licensing boards effective December 1, 2015, and to instead entrust county clerks with the authority to issue concealed handgun licenses on that date.3.

Until December 1, 2015, Michigan has required county sheriffs to conduct a background check through the state law enforcement information network and report his or her finding to the CWLB.4 If the applicant resided in a city, village, or township that has a police department, the CWLB was required to contact that department to determine if it has any information relevant to the applicant’s eligibility under state law to receive a license to carry a concealed handgun.5

Beginning December 1, 2015, however, Michigan law will instead require the Department of State Police to conduct this background investigation through both the state law enforcement information network and the FBI’s NICS database.6 The Department of State Police will be required to report to the county clerk about any statutory disqualifications that apply to the applicant.7

The county clerk shall issue a concealed handgun license if the applicant:8

  • Is 21 years of age or older;
  • Is a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted into the United States;
  • Is a resident of Michigan, and has resided in Michigan for at least six months;9
  • Has completed a handgun safety training course certified by the state of Michigan or a national or state firearms training organization (see the Firearm Safety Training subsection, below);
  • Is not the subject of specified court orders;10
  • Is not prohibited from possessing, using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving or distributing a firearm under Michigan law;11
  • Has never been convicted of a felony, and a felony charge is not pending against the applicant;
  • Has not been dishonorably discharged from the United States Armed Forces;
  • Has not been convicted of a misdemeanor violation in the last eight years relating to specified crimes, including but not limited to: serious vehicle offenses; displaying sexually explicit materials to minors; assault or domestic assault; fourth degree child abuse; accosting, enticing, or soliciting a child for immoral purposes; vulnerable adult abuse; solicitation to commit a felony; certain weapons crimes; or stalking;12
  • Has not been convicted of any of a list of other specified misdemeanors in the last three years;13
  • Has not been found “guilty but mentally ill” of any crime and has not offered a plea of not guilty of, or been acquitted of, any crime by reason of insanity;
  • Has never been subject to an order of involuntary commitment in an inpatient or outpatient setting due to mental illness;
  • Does not have a diagnosed mental illness that includes an assessment that the individual presents a danger to himself or herself or to another at the time the application is made, regardless of whether he or she is receiving treatment for that illness;
  • Is not under a court order of legal incapacity; and
  • Has has a valid state-issued driver license or personal identification card.

Firearm Safety Training

Michigan requires that any applicant for a concealed handgun license, prior to issuance of the license, complete a handgun safety training course certified by the state of Michigan or a national or state firearms training organization.14 Effective December 1, 2015, an applicant will be considered to have satisfied this requirement if he or she has passed an approved handgun safety training course within 5 years preceding the date of his or her application and all the other required conditions are met.15

The safety training course must include at least eight hours of instruction, including five hours of instruction in:

  • The safe storage, use, and handling of a handgun including, but not limited to, safe storage, use, and handling to protect child safety;
  • Ammunition knowledge, and the fundamentals of handgun shooting;
  • Handgun shooting positions;
  • Firearms and the law, including civil liability issues and the use of deadly force. This portion must be taught by an attorney or an individual trained in the use of deadly force;
  • Avoiding criminal attack and controlling a violent confrontation; and
  • All laws that apply to carrying a concealed handgun in Michigan.16

The course also must include at least three hours of instruction on a firing range, firing at least 30 rounds of ammunition.17

The program must provide a certificate of completion that states the program complies with the requirements of state law and that the individual successfully completed the course, signed by the course instructor.18 The instructor also must be certified by Michigan or a state or national organization to teach the safety training course.19

Duration & Renewal

A license to carry a concealed handgun is valid until the licensee’s date of birth that falls not less than four nor more than five years after the license is issued.20 A license may be renewed in generally the same manner required to obtain the original license, except that the safety training education requirements are waived if the applicant certifies that he or she has completed at least three hours of review of the required training and has had at least one hour of firing range time in the six months immediately preceding the renewal application.21

Disclosure or Use of Information

Michigan requires the Department of State Police to maintain a computerized database of individuals who apply for a concealed handgun license. The database may only contain  the following information as to each individual:22

  • The individual’s name, date of birth, address, county of residence, and state-issued driver license or personal identification card number;
  • If the individual is licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Michigan, the license number and date of expiration;
  • If the individual was denied a license to carry a concealed handgun after July 1, 2001 or issued a notice of statutory disqualification, a statement of the reasons for that denial or notice of statutory disqualification;23
  • A statement of all criminal charges pending and criminal convictions obtained against the individual during the license period;
  • A statement of all determinations of responsibility for civil infractions pending or obtained against the individual during the license period; and
  • The status of the individual’s application or license.

Information in the database may only be accessed and disclosed according to an access protocol that includes the following requirements:24

  • That the requestor of the firearms records uses the law enforcement information network or another system that maintains a record of the requestor’s identity, time, and date that the request was made; and
  • Requires the requestor in an intentional query by name of the firearms records to attest that the firearms records were sought under one of the specified lawful purposes.

The county clerk must retain a copy of each concealed handgun license application as an official record until one year after the expiration of the license, at which time the county clerk may destroy the record and maintain only a name index of the record.25

Reciprocity

A concealed handgun license issued to a resident of another state is recognized in Michigan.26

 

Notes
  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 750.227(2). ⤴︎
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425b(7). ⤴︎
  3. See Mich. S.B. 34, Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 28.425a, 28.425b(7). ⤴︎
  4. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425b(6). ⤴︎
  5. Id. ⤴︎
  6. Id. ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425b(7). ⤴︎
  9. However, starting December 1, 2015, the county clerk shall waive the 6-month residency requirement for an emergency license if the applicant is a petitioner for certain personal protection orders, or if the county sheriff determines that there is clear and convincing evidence to believe that the safety of the applicant or the safety of a member of the applicant’s family or household is endangered by the applicant’s inability to immediately obtain a license to carry a concealed handgun. Id.  Beginning December 1, 2015,the county clerk shall also waive the 6-month waiting period if if the applicant holds a valid concealed handgun license issued by another state at the time the applicant’s residency in Michigan is established. Id. ⤴︎
  10. See Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425b(7)(d). ⤴︎
  11. See Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.224f. ⤴︎
  12. See Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425b(7)(h). ⤴︎
  13. See Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425b(7)(i). ⤴︎
  14. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 28.425b(7)(c), 28.425j(1). ⤴︎
  15. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425j(1). ⤴︎
  16. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425j(1)(a). ⤴︎
  17. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425j(1)(b). ⤴︎
  18. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425j(1)(c). ⤴︎
  19. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425j(1)(d). ⤴︎
  20. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425l(2). ⤴︎
  21. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425l(8). ⤴︎
  22. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425e(1). ⤴︎
  23. However, if an individual who was denied a license to carry a concealed handgun after July 1, 2001 or issued a notice of statutory disqualification is subsequently issued a license to carry a concealed handgun, the Department of State Police must delete from the computerized database the previous reasons for the denial or notice of statutory disqualification. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425e(2). ⤴︎
  24. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425e(4). ⤴︎
  25. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.425b(4). ⤴︎
  26. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.432a(1)(h). ⤴︎

Dealer Regulations in Michigan

Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.

Michigan does not require firearms dealers to obtain a license.

When selling a firearm in Michigan, a federally licensed firearms dealer must:

  • Provide a free “brochure or pamphlet that includes safety information on the use and storage of the firearm in a home environment;”
  • Ensuring that the purchaser has either a locking device or a gun case (see the section entitled Locking Devices in Michigan for details); and
  • Sign a statement and require the buyer to sign a statement that the sale is in compliance with the aforementioned requirements under Michigan law.1

A federally licensed dealer must also post a notice, conspicuously at the entrances, exits and points of sale on the premises of his or her business, stating “[y]ou may be criminally and civilly liable for any harm caused by a person less than 18 years of age who lawfully gains unsupervised access to your firearm if unlawfully stored.”2

For laws:

See our Dealer Regulations policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.435(1) – (4). The dealer must retain a copy of the signed statements for a minimum of six years. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.435(5). ⤴︎
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.435(6). ⤴︎

Domestic Violence & Firearms in Michigan

Michigan does not:

  • Prohibit individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition, although federal law applies;
  • Require courts to notify domestic abusers when they become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law;
  • Require the surrender of firearms or ammunition by domestic abusers who have become prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law; or
  • Require law enforcement to remove firearms at the scene of a domestic violence incident.

Michigan gives courts discretion to prohibit the purchase or possession of firearms by a person subject to a personal protection order.1

For ex parte personal protection orders, the court must schedule a hearing on the motion to modify or rescind such an order within 14 days after the filing of a motion to modify or rescind.2 If the respondent has a license to carry a concealed weapon and is required to carry a weapon as a condition of his or her employment, and the personal protection order prohibits him or her from purchasing or possessing a firearm, the court is required to schedule a hearing on the motion to modify or rescind the ex parte order within five days after the filing of the motion to modify or rescind.3

In addition, Michigan law prevents any person subject to a domestic violence protective order or protective order against stalking from obtaining a handgun purchase license.4

Note that federal law prohibits all abusers subject to domestic violence protective orders issued after notice and a hearing from purchasing or possessing all firearms.

In certain child abuse situations, the court may order the alleged abuser to surrender to a local law enforcement agency any firearms or other potentially dangerous weapons the alleged abusive person owns, possesses, or uses.5

See our Domestic Violence & Firearms policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 600.2950(1)(e), 600.2950a(2), (3)(c), (26). Michigan requires law enforcement called to the scene of a domestic violence incident to provide the victim with a notice of rights, including the right to seek a protective order prohibiting the abuser from possessing firearms. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 764.15c. ⤴︎
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 600.2950(12), (14), 600.2950a(14). ⤴︎
  3. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 600.2950(2), (12), (14), 600.2950a(14). ⤴︎
  4. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv.  §§ 28.422, 552.14, 600.2950, 600.2950a. ⤴︎
  5. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 712A.13a(8). ⤴︎