Criminal Laws Dealing with Concealed Pistols
Michigan has a relatively liberal policy on granting a CPL. However, carrying a firearm brings additional responsibilities and the potential to be charged with one or more criminal offenses.
Possession of a Firearm While Intoxicated and Other Crimes
Being licensed to carry a concealed pistol is a significant responsibility. The law allows people with no criminal convictions or psychological issues to get a concealed pistol license (CPL) fairly easily. A CPL is a privilege that is also relatively easy to lose. A concealed pistol permit violation and conviction will have collateral consequences you need to avoid, if possible. If you are accused of a firearm or concealed pistol permit offense, here is everything you need to know about the offense and how to avoid a conviction and jail.
Michigan is a “shall issue” state, which means that unless there is a reason legally barring you from getting a concealed pistol license (CPL), the state shall or must issue you one. As a side note, the facts and rules that deal with firearms also apply to devices that use electro-muscular disruption (EMD) technology (commonly known as tasers).
CPLs allow licensed people to possess and carry pistols concealed on their persons, boats, or vehicles. However, of course, everyone must follow some rules. Many people do not realize that carrying a firearm in a car, even in the open and visible, is “concealed” under Michigan law. Furthermore, you may not carry a pistol in some places, even with a concealed weapon license.
For obvious reasons, the law prohibits people from carrying firearms while intoxicated. The rules regarding carrying a concealed pistol are as follows:
Carrying a pistol is treated much the same as driving a car. You are not allowed to have a concealed gun if you are intoxicated, impaired, or under the influence of controlled substances.
Carrying a Pistol Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
There are several different possible penalties, depending upon the circumstances. They break down as follows:
- Simple possession of a firearm while intoxicated (with blood alcohol level .02-.07), Civil Infraction: $100 fine and a 1-year suspension of CPL;
- Simple possession of a firearm while intoxicated (with a blood-alcohol level of .08-.09), Misdemeanor: 93 days in jail and/or a $100 fine and a 3-year suspension of CPL;
- Simple possession of a firearm while intoxicated (with a blood-alcohol level of .10 or more or under the influence of a controlled substance): Misdemeanor punishable by 93 days in jail and/or a $100 fine and revocation of CPL;
- Discharging a firearm while intoxicated: 93 days in jail and/or $500;
- Possession of a firearm while intoxicated causing serious impairment of bodily function of another person: $1,000-$5,000 and/or five (5) years in prison;
- Possession of a firearm while intoxicated, causing death of another person: $2,500-$10,000 and/or 15 years in prison.
Suppose you are away from home and know or believe you have become impaired or intoxicated and have a pistol. In that case, you should immediately unload the gun and lock it in a trunk separated from the ammunition. If you don’t have a trunk, store the unloaded handgun in a locked container separated from the ammunition. If you are on a boat, store the unloaded pistol in a locked container separated from the ammunition. It is probably best not to bring your firearm if you know you may be in a situation where you consume alcohol. If you are familiar with firearms and the most up-to-date firearm laws in Michigan, you can hopefully avoid a concealed pistol permit violation.
Pistol-Free Areas and Prohibited Premises
You may not carry a pistol in some places, even if you have a CPL. They include:
- Schools or school property (it is permitted to have a gun in your car if you are dropping off or picking up children outside of the school);
- Child day care facilities;
- Taverns and bars where the primary nature of the business is to sell alcoholic drinks by the glass to be consumed on the premises;
- Properties of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, or other places of worship unless the officials in charge of the place of worship allow guns on the premises;
- An entertainment venue that has a seating capacity of 2,500 or more;
- College dorms and classrooms;
- Courtrooms or court offices, unless the chief judge or a person designated by the chief judge has given prior approval pursuant to written court policy.
If the police catch you with a concealed pistol inside a prohibited location, they will confiscate it, and you might face the following criminal charges and penalties:
- First Offense: Civil Infraction, $500 fine, and a 6-month CPL suspension;
- Second Offense: 90-day Misdemeanor, $1,000 fine, and revocation of CPL;
- Third or More Offense: 4-year Felony, $5,000 fine, and revocation of CPL.
Reciprocity Rules for CPLs
If you have a CPL and are traveling to another state, knowing which states will honor your Michigan CPL and permit you to carry a concealed pistol in their state is essential. It is advisable to research the states you will travel through and where you will end up. Some states will not honor your permit, which could result in being charged with a felony. Researching the law in every state you plan to visit would be best.
CPLs and Airports (Federal Concealed Pistol Permit Violations?)
Unless packed correctly in luggage, the federal government prohibits firearms and ammunition from airports and airplanes. But most people probably do not know how to deal with a pistol in their luggage. Pistols and ammunition must be in checked luggage only. Secondly, handguns and ammunition must be unloaded, locked, and in a hard-sided case that cannot be opened easily, separated as much as possible from the ammunition, preferably in a separate piece of luggage. Third, you must declare a pistol and ammunition when checking in your luggage, and the airline agent or TSA officer may very well open your luggage to ensure you have stored it properly. There may be a fee involved as well.
CCW Charges for Possession of a Concealed Pistol with an Expired Permit
If you lawfully possess a properly registered pistol, you can face Carrying a Concealed Weapon or Pistol felony charges if your CPL is expired. Police and prosecutors love to prosecute citizens for having a concealed pistol, even if they have a concealed pistol license that is recently expired. Sometimes, prosecutions are about collecting more money for police and law enforcement coughers. A felony or misdemeanor conviction related to an expired permit can have long-lasting consequences on your Second Amendment rights.
Your Best Defense: Concealed Pistol Permit Violation Law Firm
The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have successfully handled hundreds of firearm-related cases over several decades. We are respected by judges and prosecutors alike. Let us show you how we can help you and protect your concealed pistol rights, and we will do whatever we can to get your alleged violation dismissed and thrown out of court.
The dedicated, experienced, and zealous defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have an unparalleled track record of successfully defending felony and misdemeanor charges in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw, and Livingston Counties, and throughout Michigan. We have a well-earned reputation for providing the highest quality defense and aggressive representation, while showing empathy and care for each client.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.