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It's Time to Opt-Out of Handgun Registration. Here's How.

UPDATE: On June 19th, 2018, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette published Opinion #7304 confirming the main points of this article. Our article on it is published here: Attorney General Opinion Confirms Major Paradigm Shift for Michigan Pistol Licensing and Registration.

NOTE: This article has nothing to do with carrying a concealed pistol or with carrying a pistol in a vehicle. This article deals ONLY with the various aspects of pistol licensing and subsequent registration.

Michigan is one of those pesky states with handgun registration. It's been around since about 1913,  which even predates New York's by about 18 years, and Hawaii's draconian registration requirement by about 35 years or so. Michigan was the first jurisdiction in the United States to have handgun registration.

In 1927, Michigan transferred handgun registration from the county level to the state level as part of Public Act 372 of 1927. One section of that act, Section 12 (now MCL 28.432), includes multiple exemptions to Section 2 (now MCL 28.422), which contains the foundation of pistol licensing and registration.

One well known exemption in Section 12 is for antique firearms; which are defined in MCL 28.432(1)(h). Another exemption is for CPL holders possessing any handgun belonging to another person; found in MCL 28.432(1)(i).

Most people exercise the above two exemptions on a daily basis with little concern; however, there is a third relevant exemption found in MCL 28.432(1)(f) which states,

  "A United States citizen holding a license to carry a pistol concealed upon his or her person issued by another state."

What does this mean? It means that MCL 28.432(1)(f) provides for an easy way to be exempt from the entire process of pistol licensing and registration, just as antique firearms are exempt and just as CPL holders possessing a pistol belonging to another are exempt. Some people brush this off as a "loophole"; however, this language is almost completely unchanged since from its inception in 1927. In fact, Act 372 of 1927 has undergone many changes over the decades but this exemption has only changed by one word. About a decade ago, the word "person" was replaced with "United States Citizen". That said, there is little doubt that a lawful alien would be denied this exemption under an equal protection challenge.

Some people utilize this exemption while some others are timid to exercise it. Overall, this exemption is not widely known and most gun owners are simply unaware of it. At the same time, this exemption has been subjected to much debate on the internet.

Just as it was common for gun owners to be told that Open Carry was either illegal or "untested" as little as a decade ago, the same crowd doesn't think this exemption means what it says. One of the most common critiques is that the law was an "error".

Those naysayers who think it was an error simply do not have the facts of history on their side. The original wording of this act had this same exemption in Section 12, however, back then the out of state carry permit exempted one from much more. The exemption originally exempted one from licensing, registration, obtaining a CPL, the silencer ban, the brass knuckle ban, the 16 round mag limit, the machine gun ban and the ban on carrying a double sided knife concealed or in a vehicle.

Back in 1927, meeting this exemption was rare as very few states issued concealed carry licenses. The closest were Iowa and New York. In fact, the only shall issue states at that time were New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Today, any lawful gun owner can obtain many states' license simply via mail. I recommend visiting www.handgunlaw.us to get a complete breakdown of non-resident permits. Below are two examples.

Arizona will issue to any person 21 years of age (19 for military) who is not prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm. You will need to submit a fingerprint card, as well as proof of training OR a copy of a carry license from another state where you had to complete training in order to obtain the license. More info can be found here.  

Maine will issue to any person 18 years of age who meets their requirements. Maine requires a photo, proof of training within the past 5 years, and a check for 60 dollars. Applications can be found here.

Thankfully, more and more people are telling the Michigan State Police "thanks but no thanks" on handgun registration.

While our ultimate goal is to repeal registration in its entirety, this exemption will have to do for now. At the very least, it makes the database unreliable and even a liability. This exemption is very easy to meet and should be seen as a viable alternative to those whishing to pursue it.

Could someone be cited for a civil infraction for utilizing this exemption? Anything is possible, that's why there have been cases of people being arrested for open carry and being booked for unlawful conceal carry. However, we believe the law is clear here and therefore must base our interpretation on what it says, not what it doesn't say.

AGAIN NOTE: This article has nothing to do with carrying a concealed pistol or with carrying a pistol in a vehicle. This article deals ONLY with the various aspects of pistol licensing and subsequent registration.

The information contained in this page is not legal advice. If you'd like individualized legal advice, we'd be happy to refer you to some legal practices with known firearm specializations. We can not control that you can be arrested or cited for engaging in 100% lawful activity as it happens everyday for all sorts of activities or actions. All we can do is relay what the law says and what case law dictates , or what it does not dictate.

Comments

I've already been doing this. Thanks for educating everyone who didn't know about it.

No problem. I wish I figured this out when I moved here. It's bad enough this state has a list of 10 handguns or so from me. I wish someone was there to educate me on this so that number would have been zero.

Just to let everyone know MOC has ventured into gray area in the law into which there is no caselaw yet. I strongly suggest if you do this to discuss the legality with a gun rights attorney. There are circumstances where this can get you into legal problems. I've discussed it with a couple attorneys and both explained where the gray areas exist and how this could get you into trouble legally. Apparently MOC thinks they're lawyers but giving people legal advice of how to subvert registration. MOC could be held liable for this type of "advice".

How can they be held liable? Did anyone bother to REDA? The information contained on this page is not legal advice but is merely a starting point for your own research and a basis to form your own decision about appropriate courses of action.

Disclaimers do not hold the source harmless against lawsuits. Speak to a lawyer about how much weight disclaimers actually have. There is quite a bit of case law to back this up. Lastly posting this crap really is of no help to those trying to stay compliant with the law. It's basically encouraging people to put themselves into a gray area which could and most likely would lead to legal confrontations with unregistered pistols. If MOC is telling everyone they should use this gray area then they should lead by example and all MOC leadership should carry open and concealed their firearms unregistered. I can bet every one of you carry registered pistols. I wonder why if you feel this is a legitimate way to avoid registration!

A large, bold, red disclaimer has been included at the top.

Hi Phil. I'd like to add that the disclaimer on the original post was not there. Are all your firearms unregistered? Is your board also all unregistered? Please list the FFL's which will allow you to bypass the RI60 as a Michigan resident with a CPL and purchase a firearm?

Personally, I don't buy into this theory much.  It was written by Jared Coyne.  I think he has been following his own advise on this.

I do recognize that the plain letter of the law allows this, but I recognize it's legally risky.  Thus we've opted to include a bold disclaimer -- Jared did protest a bit about the disclaimer though.

This is the same fear mongering we heard over carrying openly in pistol free zones.

The case law burden is on you, not me. Absent case law to the contrary, the letter of the law is the default position.

Sorry its not the same. This is much more complicated also you cant even find FFL's to bypass RI60's. That in itself proves you wrong. If FFL's are unwilling to sell you an unregistered pistol that should speak louder then words. I'm glad you are willing to put your freedom at risk and have a large sum to defend yourself when you get burned by it. The average citizen doesnt.

You do realize that FFLs are not the ones who turn in the RI-60's, right?  When was the last time you purchased a handgun?

So who are these attorney's? So we can speak to them about this "gray" area.

It's clear what a "United States Citizen" is and it's clear what "another state" is.

Does this attorney also think the same exception for on duty LEO's is "gray"?

Are they all criminals for carrying unregistered handguns?

So if someone is 18 with a Maine license how come they cannot conceal carry in MI because of reciprocity? Why are they only able to carry OC in PFZ's in 750.234d? Shouldn't they be able to conceal anywhere in MI as well because they hold a license recognized by MI?

No, concealed carry is dealt with in 750.227 and 750.231a. The language in these sections are different from the language in 750.234d

While from all outward appearances this does seem like a great way to avoid the outdated registration process. I for one, personally don't want to be the test case scenario.

Keeping an unregistered firearm within the confines of your home "just in case" is one thing. Carrying an unregistered firearm that belongs to you around on a daily basis is quite another.

I do believe it is LEGAL however to "Borrow" a firearm belonging to another person from a state where no firearm registration is required if you have a MI CPL. Don't be surprised if your friend has to go to the police station with proof of purchase to get it back after they confiscate it from you.

What happens when you run into an over zealous officer who runs the serials through the system and it comes back as non-existant? Are you going to argue with them when they try to confiscate it? How much in legal fees will it take to recover your firearm (if at all possible) and keep your butt out of jail? Worse yet, what happens if you are forced to defend yourself with it and you wind up getting arrested?

Don't get me wrong I would like nothing better then to abolish the absurd registration requirement we currently have. I'm just not sure if this is a good "loophole" to try unless you have the resources to defend yourself. Just my humble opinion for what little it's worth.

Well, if you are "arrested", that's a lawsuit right there. Not registering is a civil infraction, it's not a felony like it is in Maryland.

So if you are arrested for a civil infraction, that's a whole other issue in itself.

CCW is a felony. If the gun is deemed unregistered and not compliant with a CPL you could be charged with a felony.

There is no basis in law for that. It's simply doesn't exist. a CCW charge isn't enhanced or watered down based upon if the gun was registered or not.

That is the case in California, but not Michigan.

I spoke with kent county sherrif office about this today....a michigan resident having an "out of state" non resident ccw permit. The sherrif office is telling me a mich resident must have a mich ccw permit....they will honor out of state ccw's provided they are residents of that state and resiprosity is recogonized with that state....Result this is a scary gray area i dont want to be the test case...someone else with more reasearch needed.

That is in regards to concealed carry, not in regards to MCL 28.432(1)(f). Odds are, the LEO you spoke to never read the law. Most LEO's don't, just as most people do not.

This has been thoroughly researched. The letter of the law is the law. Anything else is just fear mongering and the same nonsense we heard when people would insist that open carry was illegal. The same people asked for a "law" or court case that "authorized" open carry. The same people continued to argue contrary to fact with scare tactics like, "they wouldn't want to be arrested" or they "wouldn't want to be shot".

Then we heard the same thing about carrying openly in zones listed in 28.425o. Plenty of people asked cops just to be told they would be arrested and put in prison.
Same old song and dance.

Spoke with Gander Mountain kentwood store tonight. Michigan resident with out of state cpl permit still required to have background check to purchase firearm.

That is not the issue under discussion. Background check and registering a pistol are two different things.

Mi res w/ out of state CPL wil;l be checked. Did you ask if they check MI residents w/ MI CPL.. Mny FFLs check em all just to avoid the jack-booted-thugs-aka ATFe

Interesting info, Jared. Thanks for sharing.

Just to let everyone know MOC has ventured into gray area in the law into which there is no case law yet. I strongly suggest if you do this to discuss the legality with a gun rights attorney and have a lot of money put away to defend yourself when you carry the unregistered firearm concealed under a CPL. There are circumstances where this can get you into legal problems. I've discussed it with a couple attorneys and both explained where the gray areas exist and how this could get you into trouble legally. Apparently MOC thinks they're lawyers but giving people legal advice of how to subvert registration. MOC could be held liable for this type of "advice". I'd like MOC to list some FFL's that will allow you to purchase a firearm without a RI60 using an out of state permit! If MOC is so confident that this procedure is sound surely there should be many legitimate gun dealers who will support your opinion. No FFL I've ever spoken with will ever allow this because it's a gray area in which would come out as a red flag when the records are crossed referenced with peoples actual residency.

I think the disclaimer at the top says that quite well  Someone is more apt to read that than your comment.  We agree, people should talk to an attorney if they are not confident that they understand the risks.

 

The information contained on this page is not legal advice but is merely a starting point for your own research and a basis to form your own decision about appropriate courses of action.  We are not lawyers, if you'd like individualized legal advice, we'd be happy to refer you to some Law Practices with known firearm specializations.  It is crucial you understand the law and assess your own risk before taking action.

If MOC is telling everyone they should use this gray area then they should lead by example and all MOC leadership should carry open and concealed their firearms unregistered. I can bet every one of you carry registered pistols. I wonder why if you feel this is a legitimate way to avoid registration!

This article was not written by nor concurred by everyone in the MOC leadership.  It was written by Mr Coyne.  I think he's opted to follow his own advice.

 

As for giving "advice", I think that much was made clear in the disclaimer: THIS ARTICLE IS NOT ADVICE BUT RATHER FOOD FOR THOUGHT!

Unregistered firearms and MOC Leadership
The word "should" was never mentioned, it is an article on you "can" try this, I took it as here's a way to go about it nobody said you have to do this. The comments are informative "Learning Curve" that's how I've learned all my life nobody said it was going to be cheap or get it right.

The law clearly states that a US citizen (a Michigan resident in this case) is exempt from handgun registration in Michigan if they hold a valid concealed carry permit from another state.

As to getting an FFL to skip out on an RI60/DROS, I seriously doubt you could find one to do so, and would question the character of the folks behind the counter.

This would likely apply to folks moving in to Michigan with already-possessed handguns for as long as their permits are valid.

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