Michigan has some very interesting firearms laws:
We have handgun registration;
We have permits required for handgun purchase; and
We have Concealed Pistol Licenses.
It’s the interplay between them where firearms law gets interesting.
Especially so, when you consider that the whole handgun registration and carry permit scheme was originally designed to keep the undesirables (read: Blacks, poor people) unarmed while making sure those who were connected could carry where and how they liked.
Add some modern shall-issue legislation to the mix and it gets downright interesting.
The latest AG opinion accurately reads the laws and gives an opinion that exactly interprets the law as written but creates a weird result:
1. If you’re a Michigan resident and you carry on a Michigan carry permit and have no other state’s permits, your handgun must be registered.
2. If you’re a Michigan resident and you have a non-resident carry permit issued by another state, but carry on a Michigan carry permit, your handgun does not need to be registered.
3. A Michigan resident still cannot carryusing a non-resident carry permit issued by another state alone or you’re committing a crime.
Yep, read that once again. This is what happens when laws get piled on top of each other over time.
What Does This Mean If I’m Not A Michigan Resident Visiting Michigan?
For you non-Michigan residents out there, this changes absolutely nothing for you. You can carry in Michigan on your permit issued by your home state. However, do not carry in Michigan on a permit issued by another state where you are not a resident, as that is not allowed in Michigan. You do not have to register your pistol here while carrying.
So What Does The AG Opinion Do For Michigan Residents?
For Michigan residents, if you want to avoid having to register your handgun, you can now get an out-of-state permit and then buy the handgun here using your Michigan CPL instead of the permit to purchase and fill out the Federal 4473. You will not not have to send in the RI-60 registration form that you will get from the dealer. Or, you can now build your own pistol and not have to register it so long as you have your out-of-state permit with you at all times when you’re carrying or otherwise possessing that firearm.
At least, you can until the next AG in office changes this opinion or the legislature harmonizes the language.
Whether it will be a good idea to do this is up to the reader to decide, especially if say you get involved in a matter with an unregistered pistol and a prosecutor wants to make you a test case.
In short, the AG Opinion, at least for those who go out and get non-resident permits, eliminates the uniformity Michigan’s handgun registration scheme. Thus will further reduce any argument for the registry being maintained, not that it was of any particular utility to begin with. Applying the laws exactly as written may finally get rid of this artifact of what was quite a racist gun control schema.
You can read the AG’s Opinion direct at the source.