Article 1, section 6 of the Michigan Constitution recognizes the right to bear arms. It reads as follows: “Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.”
In Michigan, no permit is required for the purchase of a rifle or shotgun. But a permit is required for the purchase of handguns. To purchase a handgun from either a dealer or private individual, the buyer must obtain a license to purchase from the chief of police if the buyer lives in a city, or the county sheriff if he lives in an area without an organized police department. After purchase and delivery of the handgun is completed, the buyer must return the license to purchase along with the purchased handgun, unloaded and encased or trigger locked, to the local licensing (law enforcement) authority within 10 days. The buyer will then be issued a safety inspection certificate (registration) for the handgun. One copy of the license will be held by the local authority for six years and the remaining copy shall be forwarded to the Commissioner of State Police. The license, once issued, becomes void if not used within 10 days. A valid Michigan CCW holder (Carrying Concealed Weapon holder) is exempt from license to purchase requirement, however is still subject to the registration requirements and a criminal background (NICS) check.
The buyer must be:
- 18 years of age,
- a U.S. citizen,
- a resident of Michigan,
- have no felony conviction, have never been adjudged insane (unless later restored by court order), and
- score 70% on a basic pistol safety review questionnaire.
The laws governing firearms are stated under MCL § 750.222 et.seq.
The main government offices that regulate laws relating to firearms are:
Michigan Department of State Police
714 S. Harrison Road
East Lansing, Michigan 48823
Phone: (517) 332-2521
Michigan Attorney General
525 W Ottawa Street
Lansing, Michigan 48909
Phone: (517) 373-1110
Fax: (517) 241-1850