Michigan: SBRs, Pistols and the Law

Michigan Coalition For Responsible Gun Owners
Michigan Coalition For Responsible Gun Owners

Lansing, MI -(AmmoLand.com)- Some time ago, the Michigan law defining what a pistol is changed. The overall length measurement was reduced to 26 inches.

Prior to the change, there were some carbines that were registered in Michigan as pistols because they were within the old overall length requirement. I am often asked if these can be carried loaded in vehicles by individuals with CPLs (Concealed Pistol Licenses.) Since the CPL allows carry of a loaded pistol in a vehicle, carbines that were registered as pistols under the old law may sometimes be carried loaded in vehicles.

The statute, MCL 28.421 states, in the relevant portion:

“(2) A person may lawfully own, possess, carry, or transport as a pistol a firearm greater than 26 inches in length if all of the following conditions apply:

(a) The person registered the firearm as a pistol under section 2 or 2a before January 1, 2013.

(b) The person who registered the firearm as described in subdivision (a) has maintained registration of the firearm since January 1, 2013 without lapse.

(c) The person possesses a copy of the license or record issued to him or her under section 2 or 2a.”

So, there are carbines that have been “grandfathered in” as pistols. Once they are transferred by sale, gift, or inheritance, they will no longer be considered pistols. Also note that a person with such a “grandfathered ” pistol must carry proof of registration whenever in possession of the pistol.

An owner of a grandfathered pistol may choose to give up the pistol designation by contacting the Michigan State Police and following their procedure. Once the process is complete, the gun will not be considered a pistol under Michigan law anymore:

“(3) A person who satisfies all of the conditions listed under subsection (2) nevertheless may elect to have the firearm not be considered to be a pistol. A person who makes the election under this subsection shall notify the department of state police of the election in a manner prescribed by that department.”

If the above process is chosen, the gun will not be able to be carried loaded in a vehicle pursuant to a Michigan CPL anymore.

Stay tuned, we’ll be covering more on SBRs, pistols, and the interaction between Michigan and Federal law in the coming weeks.

About Steve Dulan:

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.

About MCRGO:

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.”

For more information, visit: www.mcrgo.org.