You are here

Attorney General Opinion Confirms Major Paradigm Shift for Michigan Pistol Licensing and Registration.

It is my opinion, therefore, that a Michigan resident who holds a concealed pistol license issued by another state is exempt under subsection 12(1)(f), MCL 28.432(1)(f), of the Firearms Act from obtaining a license to purchase, carry, possess, or transport a pistol as required by section 2, MCL 28.422, but is not exempt from obtaining a concealed pistol license under section 5b, MCL 28.425b, of the Act, in order to carry a concealed pistol in Michigan.“ - AGO #7304 (6/19/18)

For years, Michigan Open Carry has maintained that the exemption found in MCL 28.432(1)(f) applies to Michigan residents. If you’re not sure what this is about, read our previous article for more background. It’s Time to Opt-Out of Handgun Registration. Here’s How.

Thanks to Opinion #7304, we now have confirmation that YES, MCL 28.432(1)(f) applies to all United States citizens, including Michigan residents (and permanent legal residents), who hold a license from another state, and YES, anyone with an out-of-state license is exempt from the pistol licensing and registration in MCL 28.422. In other words, exactly what the law says and what we’ve been saying.

But wait, there’s more! When you boil everything down, perhaps the single most important aspect of the opinion is that it confirms the existence of a lawfully possessed pistol that is NOT “registered” with the state. In essence, both MCL 28.422 and MCL 28.432 allow for lawful pistol possession, but only one of them requires paperwork to be subsequently submitted. This is HUGE, as it represents a significant paradigm shift in how this state interprets its firearms records database.

For once and for all, we have hard documentation proving our point that a pistol does NOT have to be “registered” in order for it to be lawfully possessed. This is because the state’s “registration” database is not a possession database, but rather a transaction database. In other words, qualifying pistol transactions are recorded, not pistol possession.

There is a plethora of ways in which someone may have a lawfully “unregistered” pistol, including by being exempt under Section 12 of the Firearms Act (MCL 28.432), moving into the state with lawfully possessed pistols, and manufacturing a pistol for one’s self, etc.

This means, absent permission or probable cause to believe a pistol is stolen or otherwise being unlawfully possessed, running the serial number of a pistol against the State’s database constitutes an unreasonable search in violation of the 4th Amendment.

We welcome this confirmation and look forward to fully pursuing and enforcing the implications of it. If you would like to help us do this, please consider making a donation to our legal fund.


The information contained in this page is not legal advice. If you'd like individualized legal advice, we'd be happy to refer you to some legal practices with known firearm specializations. We can not control that you can be arrested or cited for engaging in 100% lawful activity as it happens everyday for all sorts of activities or actions. All we can do is relay what the law says and what case law dictates , or what it does not dictate.

Recent comments