Concealed carry without a permit in MI? Here’s where it’s already allowed

LANSING, Mich. — If passed, Michigan could join the ranks of at least 12 other states in the nation to allow gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without needing a permit or training.

Republican-sponsored bills in the House look to remove the restriction of needing a concealed pistol license to carry a concealed weapon. A person who is not legally allowed to carry a gun by the state or federal government would still be prohibited from carrying a weapon. However, people convicted of certain misdemeanors would be able to carry concealed weapons even though they're not eligible for a permit.

Permits would become optional, but federal background checks to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer would remain mandatory.

Advocates argue that law-abiding citizens can already carry a firearm openly without a permit, fees or a training requirement under current state law so it should be no different if the weapon is concealed.

“I understand how it looks on its face, but this card it doesn’t make me responsible and safe," said Tom Lambert, president of Michigan Open Carry Inc., pointing to his CPL permit.

“The responsibility doesn’t lie in a piece of plastic. It lies in the person.”

Lambert, a vocal proponent for gun rights in the state, says he supports and encourages training but argues it's about restoring constitutional rights which would not put more people at risk of gun violence.

“A lot of people like to create a dynamic of rights versus safety and that’s not how we see it," he said. "It's the same thing; the more we respect the rights, the safer people are.”

Lambert also cited other concerns with the so-called “coat tax:" the cost of paying for a concealed pistol license and having to renew it every few years.

Lambert says that as the law stands today, if people were to walk down the street with pistols on their hips, they would be fine. But if they didn’t have a concealed license, were to put on a coat and it were to obscure the pistol, that citizen could be now be charged with a felony.

"We're charging good people with felonies for trying to exercise their right," he said.

The legislation is essentially identical to a package of bills introduced in early 2016. Then, just six states—Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine and Vermont—had permitless or 'Constitutional carry' laws on the books.

Currently, at least 12 states allow concealed carry without a permit.

Now at least 12 states—with the addition of Idaho, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Carolina and West Virginia—allow concealed carry without a permit.

Legislatures in a handful of other states, including Alabama, Texas and Wisconsin, are considering the idea. In South Dakota, permitless gun laws passed by lawmakers were later vetoed by the state's Republican governor.

This year, permitless carry bills were introduced in 28 states but passed in just two states.

The proliferation of eased gun restrictions happening in states nationwide is a troubling trend, says Annie Vandenberg with Moms Demand Action.

"Lowering the bar on who is allowed to carry hidden loaded weapons in public is reckless," Vandenberg said. "It doesn’t do anything to keep Michigan residents safe.”

The Michigan Sheriff’s Association is among groups publicly opposing the legislation, citing concerns about public and officer safety.

"I think that speaks volumes," Vandenberg said in reference to the sheriff's association's opposition.

"As a mom and a Michigan resident, I want to do everything I can to support law enforcement, and if law enforcement is telling us this change would make their job harder and it’d make it harder for them to keep us safe, I think we need to listen to them.”

The Michigan State Police said as of Friday there were 616,508 approved concealed pistol licenses in the state. The department voiced similar opposition, but is working with legislators on it.

The bills were voted out of the House Judiciary Committee last week and are expected to soon be voted on in the Republican-led House.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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22 comments

  • 2A All the way.

    First- the criminals are already carrying weapons.
    Second- A person carrying without a CPL ( or CCW) would still NOT have the all the benefits ( or rights) of a person with a CPL.
    Third- CPL permits would still be available. they aren’t trashing the CPL program.

    One example: A person carry without a CPL could not carry in a car. they would be required to stow their weapon, JUST like people who only “open carry”
    Another would be carrying in another state.

    I have a CPL and I am concerned about this, but I keep being reminded that criminals already carry their stolen weapons illegally and have no respect for the law to begin with.
    I carry 24/7 and am never more than a few feet from my weapon. the criminals where basically given permission during the last presidential administration and we have the huge spike in crime to prove it.

    An armed society is a polite society- see history for the facts behind that statement.

    • Asmodeus Krang (@Asmodeus_Krang)

      Actually if this passes you’d have all the rights of a CPL within the state of Michigan. Meaning I could leave a loaded handgun in my glove box without a CPL or I could get in my car and and drive off without having to disarm and unload the weapon. That’s part of the reason this bill was drafted was to reduce the unnecessary handling of firearms.

      • Asmodeus Krang (@Asmodeus_Krang)

        Here’s the section of the bill I’m refering to:
        (l) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER AND WHO IS
        21 NOT OTHERWISE PROHIBITED FROM POSSESSING A FIREARM.
        22 (2) AN INDIVIDUAL WHO IS CARRYING A CONCEALED PISTOL UNDER
        23 SUBSECTION (1)(l) AND WHO DOES NOT HAVE A LICENSE TO CARRY A
        24 CONCEALED PISTOL SHALL, WHEN STOPPED BY A PEACE OFFICER,
        25 IMMEDIATELY DISCLOSE TO THE PEACE OFFICER THAT HE OR SHE IS
        26 CARRYING A PISTOL CONCEALED UPON HIS OR HER PERSON OR IN HIS OR HER
        27 VEHICLE.

      • Jonathon

        I’ve been trying to find where it says that, do you have a link or would you mind pointing me in the direction of where i might be able to find that info? Thanks!

  • Chris

    People look like such a gaper with guns on the outside. Plus millennials just laugh at you when you leave the gas station, seen it twice now. Very much a liberal but guns fall under pursuit of happiness in my book. If feeling safer helps you feel happier in life then I am in.

  • James

    The way I see it criminals are gonna conceal weapons either way. And would you rather be saved by the guy who doesn’t have a cpl when a criminal pulls a gun or just keep the law abiding citizen from carrying and let that criminal do as he pleases?

    • James

      I own a pistol and I’m also very competent and safe with it. But I refuse to spend towards 200$ to conceal it. I don’t need a class to know how to properly handle a firearm. Personally if anything you shouldn’t be allowed to own one if you’re not. The whole cpl class is just dumb and a way for the state to make money.

    • Michael

      You are assuming that criminal with a gun plans on shooting it. Most times they don’t. Most times it’s just a threat.

      When you introduce a second gun to the situation you almost guarantee shots are going to be fired.

      I don’t trust the average untrained “because I can” gun owner to know how best to handle a situation.

  • steve

    To the proponents of open carry. Has anybody given any thought to the effect on little people of seeing somebody walking down the street with a gun on their hip? As an adult, I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling about it, but I’ve got to think it’d scare little kids to death. As for a CPL not being required, I think that all handguns should be registered and those carrying need to be licensed. But, I also think that anybody caught carrying without a license should be jailed and anybody using a gun in the commission of any crime whatsoever go to prison for a minimum of ten years, maybe more. Automatic if guilty and no plea bargains considered.

      • steve

        I don’t worry about it too much. But, I wouldn’t want to have to tell my kids not to be concerned about some wannabe macho stranger whose carrying a gun on his hip. A lot of people who might open carry are harmless, but how do you recognize those that aren’t, and there will be those occasional nut jobs. Like it or not.

    • Jeffrey Michael Gardner

      Why do you think all handguns should be registered? What’s the benefit to that? Registration hasn’t done anything good for the last 100 years.

      Are kids afraid of cops carrying guns? No. Kids aren’t afraid of guns, unless you as a parent are instilling fear in them. Guns don’t kill people, bad people do… if they can’t get a gun, they will use a knife or a care or a truck, as we’ve seen over the last few decades. Everyone should open carry and this country would be a safer place. Proper gun handling teaches responsibility

    • Tmib Tulelo

      “As an adult, I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling” – So the laws should be about YOUR feelings? Well, I don’t have a warm fuzzy feeling about paying for a right. Whose feeling is stronger? Nonsense. 🙂
      I never seen a kid getting scared of a cop who open carries. Maybe just explain kids how life and law works. They are smart, you can teach them.
      “carrying without a license should be jailed” – So you would take away all the rights from people and you would throw them in jail if they use their Constitutional Rights, even if they didn’t harm anyone? Wow.

  • Jim

    I still feel a person needs training. From what I’ve learned from my gun carrying friends and family, it is a big responsibility to carry and handle a weapon and know when and where it needs to be deployed and the training to deal with that. Our Police and Military do… so a gun owner should too and many do. Education that is easy to obtain on training should be focused on teaching and not profiting, but sustainable funding through grants? Or even affordable fees or donations would help.

    • Tmib Tulelo

      I wouldn’t call training an 8 hour discussion and a 30 rounds shooting at a range. I educate myself every day on the laws, and I practice shooting too. I don’t need anyone “train” me about things I already know. Especially if it’s not free and can be found on the Internet too. I heard Detroit has a police station they offer free gun safety training there. 🙂

  • Cobey Raap

    How would police officers jobs get a wee bit harder if we are already allowed to legally open carry? All this would allow anyone to do is instead of open carrying, we could actually put on a jacket to cover up the same pistol we were already legally allowed to carry. Nothing becomes more dangerous. I saw a note on one of the news related article to this saying residents would have to tell a peace officer that we are carrying. I’m fine with that. I’m not breaking any laws carrying it so i do not mind telling a peace officer that i am in fact legally carrying my handgun.

    I’m sick of seeing these dumb comments about how soccer moms thinks this would make the streets more dangerous. How? If you can already open carry legally without any training, whats the difference.
    Common sense people!

  • We the People of MI

    Michigan government has been breaking the law for decades. They have converted the right to keep and bear arms into a privilege; selling that privilege back to the People. This is absolutely criminal! When the People break a law they are punished. When government breaks the law — no punishment. Whatever happened to equal protection under the law?