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Firearm Carry Restriction Exemptions

Redmond Law Group July 27, 2023

Court gavel with a gun on the tableIf you possess a firearm or intend to possess a firearm in the future, it’s imperative that you stay informed about your rights and responsibilities. You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others, and you should know your rights around carry restrictions—including some notable exemptions. 

If you require a Second Amendment attorney, call me, Ian Redmond, at Redmond Law Group, serving Troy, Michigan, as well as throughout Oakland and Macomb counties. I can work with you to help you understand your gun rights.

Concealed and Open Carry Laws in Michigan

Gun laws vary from state to state, so it is important to familiarize yourself with state laws before you bring your firearm to another state. In Michigan, you must pass a background check when you purchase a gun from a federally-licensed dealer or private seller. Machine guns, automatic weapons, silencers, mufflers, and armor-piercing ammunition are illegal to sell, own, or manufacture in Michigan. Short-barreled shotguns and short-barreled rifles are also illegal barring a permit by federal law. 

In Michigan, open carry without a permit is legal if you have registered your firearm in your name. A Concealed Pistol License (CPL) is required to carry a concealed weapon, and can only be issued to those over age 21 who are U.S. citizens (or legally-admitted aliens) and who have been Michigan residents for at least six months. Before receiving a CPL, you must complete state-approved firearm training. 

You cannot apply for a CPL if: 

  1. You have been convicted of a felony or have outstanding felony charges, or have been convicted of other crimes. 

  1. You have a diagnosed mental illness, and it is documented that this illness may make you a danger to yourself or others. 

  1. You have been dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military. 

  1. You have been prohibited from handling firearms in Michigan (including as part of a bond order). 

  1. You have been involuntarily hospitalized or placed under a personal protection order. 

It is important to note that Michigan law prohibits the use of a firearm and open and concealed carry of a firearm if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Michigan has a “stand your ground” law. This means that you may use deadly force against another if there is an imminent threat of death, great bodily harm, or sexual assault. You must not be committing a crime at the time that you put this law into practice, and you must be where you have a legal right to be. Since the “stand your ground” law states that you must not be committing a crime, it’s essential to know the laws around where you can and can’t legally carry firearms in Michigan. 

Prohibited Premises for Carrying Firearms

Although open carry is legal in Michigan and CPLs are available, there are places where carrying firearms is prohibited. By federal law, guns are prohibited in any federal building or premises. Additionally, Michigan’s prohibited premises include: 

  1. Schools 

  1. Public or private childcare centers 

  1. Sports arenas and stadiums 

  1. Bars or taverns 

  1. Places of worship (e.g., church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or other place of worship) 

  1. Entertainment venues that can seat 2,500 people or more 

  1. Hospitals 

  1. Community college, college, and university dormitories or classrooms 

  1. Casinos  

In addition, according to the Michigan Supreme Court: “It is ordered that weapons are not permitted in any courtroom, office, or other space used for official court business or by judicial employees unless the chief judge or other person designated by the chief judge has given prior approval consistent with the court's written policy.” 


Certain exemptions are listed for some premises: 

Schools: A parent or guardian can carry a concealed pistol in their vehicle while dropping off or picking up a child at their school.  

Places of worship: Concealed pistols are allowed on these premises if the “presiding officials or official” of the place of worship permits it.  

Other exemptions exist for people in certain occupations. You are exempt from the prohibition on carrying a concealed weapon in the above premises if you have a CPL and: 

  1. You are a retired police officer, retired law enforcement officer, or retired federal law enforcement officer. 

  1. You have been hired by any of the above premises to provide security services and are required to carry a concealed firearm by your employer or by contract. 

  1. You are a licensed private investigator or private detective. 

  1. You are an active or retired corrections officer of a county sheriff’s department, and your training has been approved by the county sheriff.  

  1. You are a motor carrier officer or capitol security officer with the Michigan state police. 

  1. You are a member of a sheriff’s posse. 

  1. You are a reserve or auxiliary officer of a police or sheriff’s department. 

  1. You are a retired parole, probation, or corrections officer or retired absconder recovery unit member and you possess a weapons permit given by the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC).  

  1.  You are an active or retired state court judge. 

  1.  You are a court officer or a peace officer. 

It’s important to fully understand the laws surrounding firearm carry restriction exemptions. For example, under the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act (LEOSA), active or retired police officers who undergo annual training can carry concealed weapons in all fifty states with a few exceptions. Those exceptions matter. 

For example, under federal law, LEOSA certificate holders are prohibited from carrying in federal facilities, including federal buildings and parks—as well as all pistol-free zones, such as those Michigan premises listed above. LEOSA, being a federal exemption, does not extend to individual states, so a holder under the LEOSA in Michigan would not be able to carry a concealed firearm within prohibited premises in Michigan. 

However, a retired police officer in Michigan can carry a concealed weapon in a pistol-free zone with a Michigan CPL. Understanding the limitations of certain exemptions is crucial for those who carry firearms—and a Second Amendment attorney can further help you to navigate these laws. 

Get All Your Questions Answered

If you need a Second Amendment attorney in Michigan, call me, Ian Redmond, at Redmond Law Group in Troy. I can make sure you have a clear understanding of your rights, and, should you need my help, I can work toward the goal of getting those rights restored. Call me today for a consultation.