Open Carry Pistol

Any law-abiding citizen of the State of Michigan 18 years of age or older who owns a legally registered handgun may openly carry (in a fully visible holster) said firearm in all places not explicitly exempt by law with or without a CPL. Private property rules override state law in regards to firearm possession.

Open Carry In Schools

Openly carrying a pistol in public schools is lawful, however in most cases causes concerns among school administrators.  If you intend on open carrying a pistol in a school we would suggest meeting with applicable school administration to introduce yourself and develop a relationship.  Let staff know who you are, your relationship to a student, purpose for being at the school and potential dates you may visit while carrying.

By following the previously mention suggestions you are helping school staff and Law Enforcement in our efforts to provide a safe and secure learning environment for children.

Open Carry Without A CPL

A person without a CPL can legally open carry a pistol as long as the pistol they are carrying has been lawfully purchased in accordance with MCL 28.422 and is registered in their name and they are at least 18 years of age. Without a CPL you may NOT carry a firearm that belongs to and is registered to someone other than yourself.
MCL 28.422(1) states that “except as otherwise provided in this act, a person shall not purchase, carry, possess, or transport a pistol in this state without first having obtained a license for the pistol as prescribed in this section.”

As the above cited law states a person may not carry or possess a firearm without obtaining it in accordance with that particular law. Therefore if you have obtained a firearm in accordance with MCL 28.422 by receiving a permit to purchase or by purchasing a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensed dealer as the law dictates then you may lawfully open carry that pistol.

Pistol Free Zones With No CPL

There are many places you should be aware of where someone without a CPL may NOT possess a firearm, which includes open carry. The following is the list of prohibited places which is located in MCL 750.234d

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person shall not possess a firearm on the premises of any of the following:  

  • A depository financial institution or a subsidiary or affiliate of a depository financial institution.
  • Church or other house of religious worship.
  • Court
  • Theatre
  • Sports arena
  • Day care center
  • Hospital
  • An establishment licensed under the Michigan liquor control act, Act No. 8 of the Public Acts of the Extra Session of 1933, being sections 436.1 to 436.58 of the Michigan Compiled Laws.
It is very important that you pay attention to and understand what (h) in the above list is referring to. An establishment that is licensed by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission refers to any business that is licensed by the state of Michigan to sell alcohol. The key phrase here is sell alcohol, it does not matter if it is consumed on the premises, if they are licensed to sell alcohol (and regardless of if they do) you may not possess a firearm on the premises without a valid CPL. Premises  include the parking area and surrounding property that any of the above is on.

You can find out what businesses in Grand Traverse County are licensed by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission by going to the following website and select Grand Traverse:

There is an exception to the above law, MCL 750.234d(2)(d):
(d) A person who possesses a firearm on the premises of an entity described in subsection (1) if that possession is with the permission of the owner or an agent of the owner of that entity.

If you do not have a CPL and you receive permission from the owner or agent of the owner (manager/supervisor) that you are allowed to carry while visiting their establishment then you would not be in violation of the above cited law and you can lawfully open carry at that establishment. It is encouraged and suggest that the permission is given in written form so you have physical evidence that you were granted permission.


MCL 750.234d(3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a fine of not more than $100.00, or both.