Click here to view more state gun laws – Source: NRA-ILA
Q: In Michigan I know that I have to disclose that I am armed if I am stopped by a police officer while I am carrying my pistol. What if I get pulled over but I am not carrying? Should I mention my CPL at all?
A: First, remember that you are in possession of your pistol and therefore “carrying” if it is in the passenger compartment and accessible. Your gun is considered not accessible when it is unloaded in chamber and magazine and in a locked trunk, or locked in a case with no ammo in the case if your vehicle does not have a trunk. Law enforcement information systems contain the information that you are a CPL holder. So, when you are pulled over, the officer knows that you have a Concealed Pistol License. I recommend that even if you are not carrying, you discuss the matter with the officer right up front. Simply say something like: “Officer, before we go any further, let me say that I have a Concealed Pistol License but I am not carrying today.”
I further recommend that if you are pulled over at night, you should turn on your interior lights, and keep your hands visible, making no sudden moves. This is simply a good idea for anyone who is pulled over at any time. Traffic stops are a very dangerous activity for police officers and it is wise to take steps to keep things on an even keel during the entire interaction.
If you are carrying and the officer asks to see, or take possession of, the gun. Be very clear on what the procedure is going to be before you reach for the gun. If there are two officers, make sure that both of them understand what is going on before you make any movements.
“In certain circumstances, a law enforcement officer may take temporary possession of the weapon during interaction with the individual to ensure the safety of the officer and others. The police officer will return the pistol at the end of the stop unless the individual is being charged with a violation of the act or any other law that allows for the weapon to be seized.” – Michigan State Police
Also see: Proper Conduct During Encounters with Police
Q: If I am a passenger in a car that is pulled over and I am carrying my pistol, do I have to disclose to the officer who comes up to the driver’s window that I am carrying?
A: Yes. MCL 28.425f states: ” (3) An individual licensed under this act to carry a concealed pistol and who is carrying a concealed pistol and who is stopped by a peace officer shall immediately disclose to the peace officer that he or she is carrying a pistol concealed upon his or her person or in his or her vehicle.”
If the vehicle you are riding in has stopped, you have been stopped, and must disclose immediately to the officer that you are armed. Obviously, you want to state this fact in a businesslike and calm manner. Have some sympathy for the position of the law enforcement officer, and let him or her know that you are disclosing as required by law. Some officers recommend that you hand over your CPL and Driver’s License together as your method of disclosing. Remember that you must carry your CPL at all times that you are carrying a concealed pistol, as well as your Driver’s License or state-issued ID card.
Steve Dulan (www.StevenWDulan.com) is a member of the Board of Directors of the MCRGO and the MCRGO Foundation, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the MCRGO Foundation. He is an attorney in private practice in East Lansing and Adjunct Professor of firearms law at The Thomas M. Cooley Law School. as well as an Endowment Member of the NRA.
The Michigan Coalition for Responsible Gun Owners is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Formed from just eight people in 1996, we now have thousands of members and numerous affiliated clubs across the state. We’re growing larger and more effective every day.
Our mission statement is: “Promoting safe use and ownership of firearms through education, litigation, and legislation” Visit: www.mcrgo.org