Open-carry is the ability of people to openly carry a firearm in Michigan.
Where Can I Find the Authority for This?
There is no specific law allowing open-carry of guns. There just simply is not a law against it. Open carry is the opposite of concealed. The firearm must be seen – such as in a holster.
The Firearm Must Be in The Open
You may only carry a concealed firearm if you have a concealed pistol license. Otherwise carrying a concealed firearm is a felony, punishable by up to 5 years in prison. MCL 750.227.
A CPL holder can choose to carry the gun either openly or concealed. There is no requirement the CPL holder conceal the weapon.
You Cannot Open-Carry Everywhere
The right to open-carry your firearm does not extend everywhere. Places you cannot open-carry include banks, churches, synagogues, or any house of worship, courts, theaters, sports arenas and stadiums, hospitals, or places where alcohol is served. Violating this law is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
Added to the above list may soon be school property where a school does not allow firearms. Michigan Law allows a person to open-carry on school property. A school district may create rules banning firearms on school grounds, however. Read the new Michigan Supreme Court case dealing with this issue.
Note that a private property owner may ask any person to leave their property. Remaining on the property after being asked to leave can subject you to a criminal trespass charge.
However, a person with a concealed pistol license permit may have a gun in these areas. A CPL holder cannot carry the weapon concealed – the gun must be carried openly.
A person must of course be lawfully able to possess a firearm before being able to open-carry the weapon. People convicted of felonies will lose their gun rights for either for definite time period, or would have to obtain an expungement or petition the circuit court for gun rights restoration.
You cannot carry a gun with unlawful intent. Doing so is a five-year felony. Unlawful intent is the intent to harm another person or property. MCL 750.226.
Sam Bernstein is an Ann Arbor Attorney focusing on Criminal Law and Firearms Law.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.