A concealed carry permit (CCP) allows an individual to carry a concealed firearm in public. Although laws regarding carry permits and concealed carry rights vary from state to state, all 50 states have a concealed carrying licensing scheme. A license generally entitles the holder to carry a concealed firearm in public.
While concealed carrying provides many significant benefits for personal safety, it is also a considerable responsibility requiring keen knowledge of local and state laws. Learn everything you need to know about CCPs, carry legislation in Michigan, and the top 10 things to consider before applying for a permit.
What is a Concealed Carry Permit?
A concealed carry permit (CCP) is a general term referring to a document that allows an individual to carry a concealed weapon in public. CCPs may be known under various other names: concealed carry license (CCL), concealed weapons permit (CWP), concealed handgun license (CHL), etc.
Although each state and U.S. territory has different requirements and conditions before a person can obtain a CCP, state legislation schemes are divided into three broad categories: Shall-issue, may-issue, and no-Issue.
According to the USCCA, a “shall-issue” state’s authorities are compelled to deliver concealed carry permits to anyone who requests it, provided one meets the state’s basic requirements.
As of September 2022, virtually every state is shall-issue. 25 states are also known as “constitutional carry” states (also called “permitless carry”), where it is legal to carry a concealed firearm without a license. Such states may still offer permits for those who wish to have one to use as either an identification card or for carrying in other states that recognize the permit holder’s CCP.
In “may-issue” states, local authorities have full discretion over the issuance of a permit. Since the landmark NYSPRA v. Bruen Supreme Court case, the USCCA categorizes only 2 states as may-issue states: Connecticut and Delaware.
A no-issue state or jurisdiction does not provide concealed carry permits or a legal way to carry a concealed weapon, effectively making it illegal.
As of September 2022, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and 2 U.S. territories (Guam, Puerto Rico) have adopted legislation making concealed carry legal in some form, leaving only select U.S. territories (American Samoa, Northern Marianas) as no-issue jurisdictions.
Concealed Carry Permits in Michigan
The concealed gun permit in Michigan is called the Concealed Pistol License (CPL). As of September 2022, Michigan is a shall-issue state with no constitutional carry provisions. Michigan CPLs are delivered to applicants by local county clerks.
Michigan Legislation Regarding Pistol Purchases
Michigan law requires residents to purchase a specific pistol permit from the local police department or county sheriff’s office. A pistol purchase permit requires passing a background check and is valid for 30 days.
After purchasing a firearm, the gun shop will issue a pistol sales record, two copies of which (the “agency copy’ and the “MSP copy”) must be completed and returned to the police department or sheriff’s office that issued your license to purchase.
However, these requirements are waived if you have a Michigan Concealed Pistol License. The CPL acts as a state ID and a valid purchase permit, eliminating the need to obtain a permit to purchase and return documents to your local police station.
Where Can I Carry With my CCP?
Generally, holding a CCP entitles you to carry a firearm outside of your home in public areas. Exceptions common to all states typically include federal and state government buildings, school zones, property, and airports.
In Michigan, the law (MCL 28.425o) defines a list of Prohibited Premises (places where a Michigan CPL holder cannot carry a firearm) and associated conditions. They include:
- School property, with an explicit exception for carrying in a vehicle while picking up or dropping off a child attending that school
- Daycare centers and child care agencies
- Stadiums and sports arenas
- Any business where the primary source of income (more than 50%) is the sale of liquor to be consumed on the premises (e.g., bars, taverns)
- Religious buildings, unless a posted sign or the local official explicitly allows concealed weapons
- Entertainment facilities with a seating capacity of 2,500 or more
- Dorms and classrooms in colleges and universities
Can I Use a Michigan CPL in Other States?
According to the USCCA, the Michigan CPL is recognized by 39 other states, and Michigan recognizes the carry permits of 48 other states. Some additional restrictions may apply depending on the state.
10 Things to Consider When Obtaining a CCP
Carrying a concealed firearm is a serious responsibility. If you’re considering whether obtaining a CCP and carrying a concealed gun is for you, here are the top 10 things to consider before applying.
1. Research All Applicable Laws
Besides researching what type of carry legislation applies to your state (permitless, shall-issue, may-issue), you should study all of the following:
- Which conditions and restrictions apply to CCP applicants in your states
- What are your state’s laws and rules regarding the use of force in self-defense
- Whether your city, county, or local area imposes additional restrictions or ordinances regarding the carrying of firearms (or, if applicable, whether your state has a state exemption statute making such ordinances illegal)
The best places to call for information and answers on frequently asked questions regarding concealed carry and self-defense laws are your local county clerk’s office, your local police department, or the state law enforcement agency.
2. Check Your State’s CCP Requirements
Every state imposes its own list of requirements and restrictions regarding carry permits and who is allowed to obtain one.
To obtain a Michigan CPL, an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Minimum age: 21 years or older
- Be a United States citizen or lawfully admitted permanent resident (Green Card holder)
- Be a legal Michigan resident for at least 6 months
- Must have no criminal history and must not be a prohibited person at the state level (MCL 750.224f) or the federal level (as per the ATF definition, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)).
- Has demonstrated knowledge and training in firearms: Applicants must send a certificate proving they completed a Michigan-approved pistol safety training course.
3. Expect Background Checks
Background checks can occur at multiple points during a concealed-carrying citizen’s path to obtaining a CCP and a suitable carry firearm.
Although not all states require residents to pass a background check to carry a concealed firearm (e.g., permitless carry states), an applicant is guaranteed to face at least one background check: either during the application process or when purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer.
In Michigan, a federal NICS background check is required in all of the following cases:
- Applying for a new Michigan CPL
- Renewing an existing CPL
- Attempting to purchase a firearm from a Federal Firearms License holder (e.g., gun shop, pawn shop)
4. Take a Firearms Safety Course
Although not all states require applicants to pass a firearms safety course or a training class, it is strongly recommended to do so, especially for individuals with no prior experience with firearms.
Michigan is one of the few states that requires CCP applicants to submit proof of familiarity with firearms. A training course is legally valid in Michigan if it is at least 8 hours long, including 5 hours of classroom instruction, 3 hours of live fire training at a shooting range.
5. Consider Obtaining Liability Insurance
Even though it is not a legal requirement to obtain a CCP, concealed-carrying citizens may want to consider obtaining liability insurance intended explicitly for armed self-defense and concealed carry cases.
While liability insurance represents an additional expense, it offers additional legal protection when dealing with law enforcement and the courts. Even in legitimate self-defense cases, civil lawsuits are always a possibility. Liability insurance provides support and peace of mind to citizens involved in a self-defense shooting scenario after the fact, ensuring they obtain skilled representation in a court of law if needed.
6. Spend the Time to Choose the Right Gun
After obtaining your concealed carrying permit, you may start looking for a suitable self-defense firearm. Consider the firearm’s type, size, caliber, and specifications carefully. Not all handguns are created equal, and some are better suited for concealed carrying than others.
Before you purchase a handgun, research handgun models online, ask local gun shops and concealed carriers for advice, and, if possible, try firearms you’re interested in carrying at local ranges to get hands-on experience.
Although many firearm specifics are a matter of personal preference, the most critical piece of advice to remember when choosing your first gun is never to carry a gun you cannot handle safely and confidently.
Remember to factor additional equipment into your gun budget. It is unsafe to carry a concealed firearm without an appropriate holster, which may require you to purchase a gun belt and accessories (e.g., magazine carriers)
7. Practice as Often as Possible
Shooting is a skill that requires practicing as often as possible to establish and maintain good habits. Regular practice not only helps you become a more accurate shooter, it is also necessary to develop safe gun handling habits (e.g., applying the Four Rules of Gun Safety).
Although most shooters practice freely and alone, such as at a local range, those who prefer more guided instruction should consider enrolling in additional shooting classes.
8. Proper Firearm Storage
Michigan does not have laws requiring gun owners to purchase a gun safe or meet minimum safe storage requirements. However, as a safe and responsible gun owner, you should secure your firearms appropriately when not in use, regardless of local legislation.
Consider purchasing a safe appropriate for the size of your current firearm collection, from small nightstand safes to large multi-firearm safes for handguns and long guns.
9. Review Permit Renewal Requirements
Most states with a CCP scheme issue licenses valid for a fixed period only. Review your state’s renewal requirements and send an application within the recommended time frame.
Although some states may have a grace period after expiration, failing to renew your permit in time may require you to apply for a new one as if it was your first application, which is typically more expensive.
Michigan CPLs are valid for 5 years. Renewal can be done online or by paper mail by submitting the appropriate form to the Michigan State Police within 2 months of the permit’s expiration date.
10. Be Responsible at All Times
Carrying a concealed firearm for personal defense is a serious responsibility that may require changing many everyday habits. Many call it a lifestyle due to the combination of training, knowledge, equipment, and attitudes needed to be safe at all times.
Here are a few advanced tips to follow if you wish to be a safe and responsible armed citizen:
- Carry responsibly. Avoid conflict whenever necessary and always try escaping or de-escalating a confrontation before engaging. If a confrontation is inevitable, remember that using a firearm is lethal force. You should only draw, let alone fire, as a last resort in the most life-threatening situations.
- Carry daily. One of the basic principles of concealed carrying is to assume that a life-threatening situation can happen at any time, typically when one expects it the least. Consequently, everyday carrying (EDC) is the safest and most responsible choice.
- Carry confidently. Practice wearing your holster and weapon before going out in public. Try various positions (e.g., sitting, standing, while doing chores) to find the most comfortable holster position and get used to the weight and feel of a firearm on your body.
- Carry discreetly. When carrying in public, avoid fidgeting with your shirt or constantly readjusting your holster; others may realize you are carrying, defeating the point of concealment.
Receive all the Information You Need From IFA Tactical
IFA Tactical is dedicated to helping people protect their homes, families, and livelihoods. We carry a wide range of guns and ammunition suitable for home defense, concealed carrying, and general personal protection. IFA Tactical also offers classes to help customers learn how to use a firearm safely and effectively.
If you are looking for a new gun or unique firearm accessory in the Detroit area or anywhere else in Michigan, or if you want more information regarding concealed carrying, contact us at (586) 275-2176.