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Open Carry Laws

Michigan Open Carry Laws

Open carry laws in Michigan explain when and where pistols can be visibly carried in the state. They also set forth several rules regarding what types of pistols can be carried, how they can and can’t be carried, and more. Understanding these laws is crucial for any gun-carrying Michigander. It’s also essential for anyone who may be facing misdemeanor or felony weapons charges for allegedly violating Michigan open carry laws.

Revealing more about these statutes, the following explains the ins and outs of open carry laws in Michigan and the criminal charges that can be filed for violating them. A defense lawyer at O’Keefe Law can answer your questions and share advice related to a specific case whenever you need it.

Who Can Openly Carry a Gun in Michigan?

Legal adults who are not prohibited by law from possessing a weapon may openly carry a pistol in Michigan if the pistol is registered to them and:

  • The pistol is intended for lawful use: This could include protection or shooting practice. If the pistol is being carried as part of another crime, open carry laws do not apply, and criminal charges will instead.
  • The pistol is clearly visible: This means it’s readily apparent to the average person. Holstered pistols are not considered to be concealed unless the holster containing the pistol is not clearly visible.
  • They are carrying in a permitted area: Areas where pistols are specifically prohibited can include (and aren’t limited to) churches, hospitals, courts, sports arenas, and certain locations where alcohol is sold. One notable exception to these exclusions is for property owners, who can be allowed to openly carry on their own private premises.

These requirements apply to those 18 and older who are legal residents of Michigan and who do not have a concealed pistol license (CPL). In the case of CPL holders, it’s legal to openly carry pistols that are not registered in their name. Additionally, CPL holders may be able to carry open or concealed pistols in places where non-CPL holders cannot.

Is Open Carry Allowed in Michigan Schools?

Public and private schools in Michigan (K through 12) have been designated as weapon-free zones. This means that it is not legal to open carry or concealed in these schools. There is an exception made for legal guardians and parents, who are allowed by law to carry a concealed pistol within a motor vehicle if:

  • They have a valid CPL.
  • They are dropping their child off at or picking them up from school.

What Are the Charges & Penalties for Violating Michigan Open Carry Laws?

Openly carrying a pistol in prohibited places is a misdemeanor offense in Michigan. If the charges end in a guilty plea or conviction, they can be punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or up to $200 in fines. If the incident was more complicated and involved factors like (but not limited to) the following, there may be other, more serious charges and penalties involved:

  • The accused was prohibited from possessing a pistol: If the defendant is a felon who has not had his gun rights restored, violating the open carry laws may also result in illegal weapons possession charges.
  • The offense resulted in injuries or deaths: In the case of criminal negligence or violent crimes, weapons offenses, like violations of open carry laws, can be an amplifier that adds years of potential incarceration to penalties that hang in the balance.

Just because criminal charges are filed does NOT mean that the prosecution has a strong case or that you’re going to get the book thrown at you. A defense lawyer can be the partner you need when it’s time to stand up to the charges and protect your rights.

Fight Weapons Charges with an Experienced Lansing Criminal Defense Lawyer: Contact O’Keefe Law

If you or someone you love has been charged with violating open carry or other gun laws in Michigan, you need fierce defense representation if you want the best possible outcome. You need Lansing Criminal Defense Attorney Patrick William O’Keefe.

The truth is that, with weapons charges, you can only clear your name by winning in court—and your lawyer can critically shape your defense and have major impacts onthe resolution in your case. At O’Keefe Law, we don’t just fight for shorter sentences. We aim for the best possible resolutions, including dismissals and acquittals.

Call 517-273-0421 or email O’Keefe Law for a free, confidential consultation and important advice about your defense options.

If you contact just one attorney, you must contact board-certified Attorney Patrick William O’Keefe today. With years of courtroom experience, Attorney Patrick William O’Keefe has what it takes to provide exceptional advocacy and results. He provides the defense representation he would demand in your shoes, and that means:

  • He prioritizes your case, needs, and objectives.
  • He provides honest advice, clear answers, and responsiveness, so you have the support and information you need when you have questions or concerns about your case.
  • He is focused on safeguarding your rights, minimizing the potential negative impacts, and working to bring the charges and case to a fair, favorable resolution.

Remember, it is never too early to hire the right attorney, but it could be too late.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping you with a weapons case or any criminal case. In the meantime, check out some of our previous results and client testimonials to learn more about why we are a 5-star criminal defense law firm in and around Lansing, MI.

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