Frequently Asked Michigan Gun Owner Questions
Michigan – -(AmmoLand.com)- This information is provided by The Law Offices of Steven W. Dulan, PLC (www.stevenwdulan.com) This answer is intended as general information and should not be relied upon as legal advice for any specific situation or case. The facts of each case vary and you should consult an attorney whenever you have specific questions.
Q: Is there a specific design for the ‘no gun’ allowed sign in Michigan? Does the law say where it has to be placed at a business, such as on the door or adjacent window leading into the business?
A: There are no specifications for “No Guns” or “No Weapons” signs in Michigan law. Under the law, there are two ways for a CPL holder to know that guns are not allowed in a specific location. The first is the list of “Pistol Free Zones” (often colloquially referred to as violent criminal empowerment zones) that we must all memorize, which is part of the CPL statute (Pistol Free Areas).
The second is when the owner or lessor of any real property communicates to us that our guns are not welcome there. That communication must be reasonable in order to be effective. By reasonable, I don’t mean polite. I mean that there is an effective means of communicating to us that we are not welcome so long as we are carrying our guns. This can be done with a sign, verbally, or in some kind of printed material.
For instance, if there is a reasonably-sized and located sign in a retail establishment indicating that guns or weapons are not allowed, that would constitute reasonable notice. If an employee of the same establishment actually tells you that you may not carry on the premises, that would constitute reasonable notice. If your employer has an employee handbook or some kind of printed guidelines, and includes a prohibition on guns and/or weapons, that would constitute reasonable notice.
If you choose to ignore any such reasonable notice, then you become a trespasser rather than a business invitee. Trespass can be punished as a crime and/or in civil court, and could affect your CPL licensing status.
Q: 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.” (MSP)
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”