A resident in Michigan looking to carry a concealed firearm must possess the state’s concealed carry permit, the Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL), which requires completing an approved Michigan CPL class.

Learn everything you need to know about Michigan concealed carry classes, whether you should bring your own gun, and what other gear and equipment to bring.

Who is Eligible for a CPL Class?

Legally carrying a concealed pistol in the Great Lake State requires holding a Michigan CPL. Although Michigan is a shall-issue state, the law requires completing a pistol safety training class to demonstrate that you have the knowledge and training needed to use a pistol safely.

According to the Michigan State Police, a Michigan CPL applicant must meet a list of specific criteria, the most important of which are as follows:

  • Be a United States citizen or legal permanent resident
  • Be a legal resident of Michigan for at least six months at the time of application
  • Be at least 21 years old (the federal minimum age to buy a handgun from a gun dealer holding a Federal Firearms License, such as a gun shop)
  • Have completed an approved pistol safety class and submitted a proof of completion to a local county clerk
  • Have a valid state-issued driver’s license or identification card
  • Not be a prohibited person, either under the federal definition or the state’s definition (MCL 750.224f)
  • Not be convicted of a felony or have a pending felony charge at the time of application.
  • Not have been convicted of a disqualifying misdemeanor violation (e.g., reckless driving) or meet other disqualifying criteria (e.g., dishonorably discharged from the U.S. armed forces). You can find the complete list on the Michigan State Police website.

If you meet these requirements, you may apply for a license. As a shall-issue state, Michigan must issue your license or a notice of disqualification within 45 days of sending your proof of completion.

Concealed carrying license renewal applications cost $115 and must be sent before your current license’s expiration date. You can apply for renewal online, by phone, by mail, or in person at one of your local county clerk’s offices.

Duration of a CPL Class

According to Michigan law, a valid CPL class must be at least eight hours long and feature two portions: a classroom instruction portion with a minimum of five hours and a shooting range portion with a minimum of three hours.

The classroom portion should also include a section taught by a law enforcement professional explaining the legal aspects of carrying, such as where you can and can’t carry, how to stay out of trouble, and when to draw and shoot legally.


What Equipment to Bring to a CPL Class

The typical Michigan CPL class typically begins with the classroom portion and is followed by range time. Most CPL class packages only cover the cost of the class; if you do not bring your own equipment, you may need to pay additional fees.

To get the most out of your CPL class, bring the following equipment to the class:

Your own firearm

Although many classes take place at ranges that offer gun and ammo rentals, they can be pricey. There is also no guarantee that the available rental guns will match the make and model of the firearm you intend to carry after receiving your CPL.

Bringing your own gun means you’ll avoid paying gun rental fees, but it is also an excellent way to learn to shoot on the platform you intend to use. The range instructors provide training and instructions tailored to your own firearm.

For example, if your carry gun is a SIG Sauer P229, you may already know that this pistol features a decocker but no manual safety. The range instructor provides you with training and specifics on safe handling such as what the decocker does, how to use the decocker, and how it differs from manual safety levers (e.g., 1911) or trigger-mounted safeties (e.g., Glock).

Magazines and ammunition

The range portion of a CPL class is live-fire, so you shoot real ammunition at targets in a shooting range. You’ll learn the basics of firearm operations, including loading and unloading magazines.

To get the most out of this part of the CPL class, you should bring your own magazines (at least 2) and ammunition (at least 100 rounds). The ammunition should be new-production factory ammo made by a reputable manufacturer. Do not bring ammo of dubious origins such as military surplus or handloads to the CPL class for your safety and everyone else’s.

If your carry gun is a revolver instead of a semi-automatic pistol, consider bringing speedloaders, as they can function as the equivalent of pistol magazines.

Hearing protection and safety glasses

Another way to cut down on rental costs is to bring your own shooting protective equipment. Firearms are loud, and shooting without hearing protection exposes you to permanent hearing damage. Safety glasses protect your face from potential eye hazards, such as spent casings from your gun (or other shooters’ guns) flying in your direction.

Although virtually every shooting range offers rental hearing protection, having your own is recommended. It saves you from paying a rental fee, but it is also essential equipment that every gun owner should possess.

Weather- and range-appropriate clothing

The range portion of many CPL classes takes place at outdoor ranges. For this reason, you should plan accordingly and bring proper clothing for the range day, like a jacket on cold and rainy days and sunblock on hot and sunny days.

Regardless of the weather, avoid open-toed shoes or sandals when going to the shooting range. Wearing fully-enclosed shoes or toes is necessary for safety, as freshly-fired brass casings are hot and can cause burns to your feet.

An appropriate gun belt and holster

Although shooting ranges provide rental equipment, two things they typically do not offer are a gun belt and a holster for your firearm.

Bringing your own holster lets you get used to the feeling of carrying a firearm in concealed carry conditions, but it also allows the training instructors to teach you how to draw and shoot from your holster safely.

Food and water

Although the average CPL class requires a minimum of eight hours of instruction, it typically takes place over an entire day when adding lunch break and other pauses. For this reason, it is recommended to bring enough water to last you the whole day and a packed lunch and snacks.

Though many CPL classes may sell snacks and coffee on-site, some may not. Bringing your own food and water is also recommended if you have special nutritional or dietary needs.

Contact IFA Tactical Today for Michigan CPL Classes

At IFA Tactical Training, our mission is to equip Michiganders with the skills, training, and equipment they need to be safe and responsible gun owners. Our training center offers regular classes where you can learn to shoot and receive the required training to apply for a Michigan CPL. If you’d like to enroll in one of our classes, contact us today at (586) 275-2176.


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