In Michigan, you must obtain a concealed pistol license, commonly known as a CPL, in order to carry your concealed pistol. Michigan law defines a pistol as a, “loaded or unloaded firearm that is 26 inches or less in length, or a loaded or unloaded firearm that by its construction and appearance conceals it as a firearm” (MCL 28.421).
It’s important to obtain a license if you plan on carrying a concealed weapon; otherwise, you can be charged with a felony if you try to purchase a pistol without one. The first step in obtaining a CPL is ensuring your eligibility. If you are eligible, you may then move forward to complete the application process.
Am I eligible to obtain a CPL?
Michigan requires the following to be eligible for a CPL:
- Be at least 21 years old.
- Be a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted into the United States.
- Be a Michigan resident for at least six months before applying. See the Michigan State Police’s website for further information on what makes an applicant a resident of Michigan.
- The county clerk shall waive the six month residency requirement under certain circumstances. See the Michigan State Police’s website for these circumstances.
- You must complete a safety training course or class.
- You must possess a valid Michigan driver’s license or ID.
- Not be subject to an order of disposition of any of the following:
– Involuntary hospitalization or involuntary alternative treatment
– Legal incapacitation
– Personal protection order (PPO)
– Bond or conditional release prohibiting purchase of a firearm
– Finding of not guilty by reason of insanity
- Not be prohibited from possessing, using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving, or distributing a firearm.
Additionally, according to the application, you must not have a diagnosed mental illness that includes an assessment that you present a danger to yourself or others at the time the application is made. There are no exceptions to this requirement, even if you are receiving treatment for that illness.
Be aware that being convicted of a felony or any Involvement with the legal system may disqualify you. Additionally, federal law requires that a person pass a background check done through the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This background check will display any felony charges against you.
How to apply for a CPL
You must submit an application, additional documentation, pay fees, and get fingerprinted to get your CPL.
- The application is filed with the county clerk in the county you reside in. You must sign it under oath at that time. The application fee is $100
- You cannot lie on your application. The state police and the FBI are going to run background checks. Lying on your application is a felony.
- Make sure you get your application receipt in case there is a delay in issuing your license (see number 3 below)
2. Submit additional documents
- Certificate showing you completed a pistol safety training course within 5 years of the date of your application. Here are the training course requirements pursuant to MCL 28.425j.
- A passport-quality photo (if you do not have a photo on file with the Secretary of State)
3. Get your fingerprints taken
- This can be done by the county clerk, state police, sheriff’s office, and local police departments.
- There will be a $15 fee for fingerprinting. (Obtain a receipt in case there is a delay in issuing your license. To get a receipt, you will need to present the receipt received when you filed your application).
When will I receive my CPL?
Your license to carry or notice of statutory disqualification of your license shall be issued within 45 days after the date listed on the receipt received when fingerprinted. If you don’t receive your license or notice of statutory disqualification within those 45 days, the receipt will serve as your CPL when carried with a Michigan driver’s license or ID until you get your license or notice of statutory disqualification.
If you get denied, you will be notified of the reason in writing and have the right to appeal the denial. Read more about eligibility requirements and apply for a CPL here.
*See numbers 5 – 12 and 14 on the Michigan State Police’s website for further information.
Sarah Tarockoff is the Administrative Assistant at The Law Offices of Barton Morris. She earned a Paralegal Certificate from Oakland Community College in 2015 and graduated from Oakland University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a concentration in criminal justice. She completed internships at the 52-3 District Court where she aided probation officers in the Probation Department and at Bernstein & Bernstein where she worked closely with attorneys and paralegals on various litigation-related matters.