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Michigan Open Carry Laws

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The Second Amendment of the Constitution secures a citizen’s right to keep and bear arms. There are many who take this protection very seriously. The Second Amendment has been interpreted by the Supreme Court many times and is the subject of many legislative acts. Be aware of Michigan open carry laws. The Michigan Constitution in its Declaration of Rights also states that:

“Every person has the right to keep and bear arms in defense of himself and the state.”

The State of Michigan forbids carrying a firearm that is concealed without a state authorized concealed pistol license (CPL). Conversely, the state does not prohibit a person from carrying a firearm in the open and not concealed, provided that the person obtained a license to purchase and possess the firearm.

This license is different than the permit required to possess a concealed pistol. Our state legislature has chosen to honor the Second Amendment with the open carry law. Therefore, if a person has obtained a firearm by receiving a permit to purchase a firearm or purchased a firearm from a federally licensed firearms dealer, that person can openly carry that firearm.

Facing a weapons charge? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.

Not everyone may receive a license to openly possess and carry a firearm. Licensees must:

Further, they must not be prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a prior specified felony conviction.

When a weapon is concealed, lawmakers say, the person carrying it is more dangerous and their right to carry must be pre-authorized. The person must not be a felon, drug addict or have a history of, or is likely to commit, unlawful violence.

Open or Concealed Carrying Exclusions

There are exceptions to the open carry law. Michigan law excludes persons from carrying an open or concealed weapon in the following places:

  • an establishment that sells alcohol
  • a financial institution or bank
  • a church
  • a theater
  • a sports arena
  • a hospital or day care center

An exception exists in the above establishments in the event that a person received the express permission from the owner, or owner’s agent (manager) of the establishment. That permission doesn’t necessarily have to be in writing.

Brandishing a Firearm

Openly carrying a firearm should be distinguished from brandishing a firearm, which is unlawful. Brandishing means to defiantly wave or flourish menacingly the firearm or to display ostentatiously, which is defined as a vulgar or pretentious display or designed to attract specific attention.

Further, if a person has a CPL, they still have the right to carry their weapon openly.

Facing a weapons charge? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.


Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
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