Criminal Laws Dealing with Concealed Pistols
Michigan has a fairly 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 large 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 is fairly easy to lose.
Michigan is known as a “shall issue” state, which means that unless there is some reason you are legally barred 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 or in vehicles or on boats. However, of course, there are some rules that must be followed. Many people do not realize that carrying a firearm in a vehicle, even if out in the open and completely visible, is considered “concealed” under Michigan law. Furthermore, there are some places you may not carry a pistol even with a concealed weapon license.
For obvious logical reasons, the law prohibits people from carrying firearms while they are 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 carry a concealed pistol if you are intoxicated, impaired, or under the influence of controlled substances.
Carrying a Pistol Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs
There are a number of 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 $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: 93 days in jail and/or $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 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.
If you are away from home and know or believe you have become impaired or intoxicated and you have a pistol with you, you should immediately unload the pistol and lock it in trunk separated from the ammunition. If you don’t have a trunk, store the unloaded pistol in a locked container separated from the ammunition. In the event 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 are consuming alcohol.
Pistol Free Areas and Prohibited Premises
There are some places you may not carry a pistol even if you have a CPL. They include:
- Schools or school property (it is permitted to have a pistol 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 you are caught with a concealed pistol inside a prohibited location, your pistol will be confiscated, and you can 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, it is important to know which states will honor your Michigan CPL and permit you to carry a concealed pistol in their state. It is advisable to specifically 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. You should research the law in every state you will be in.
CPLs and Airports
Most people are aware that neither a firearm nor ammunition are permitted in an airport or airplane, regardless of whether it is concealed. But most people probably do not know how to properly deal with a pistol in their luggage. Pistols and ammunition must be in checked luggage only. Secondly, pistols and ammunition must be unloaded and in a locked, hard-sided case which 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.
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 and we will contact you promptly.