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Thread: Open carry on a bicycle?

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Anybody know if it's legal? I know bicycles are normally regulated as vehicles, but you never know. I live in Oakland county which could even complicate things some more. I see some terms like vehicle propelled by mechanical means, and motor vehicles, so I kinda have my hopes up. I'm 21, but have no CPL nor reason to get one since I won't be in Michigan more than another year. I figure why not take my handgun on the 100 mile bike rides I like to do? If I can.

    Thanks in advance if anybody has any theories on this.
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    Just what is your question? One turns to the law for crimes and prohibitions, not for permission.

    A bicycle is not a vehicle by 257.79 “Vehicle” defined.

    Sec. 79. “Vehicle” means every device in, upon, or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except devices exclusively moved by human power..."
    Thus, were I rating MI Vehicle Code for 'bicycle friendliness' it would fail. I'm sure the LAB has bicycle friendly cities in MI, perhaps you could appeal to them - century rider and all that. The NRA and LAB are quite analogous in their politics.
    I don't know MI gun law well enough to comment.

    Either we are equal or we are not. Good people ought to be armed where they will, with wits and guns and the truth. NRA *******
    I have ridden more than 40K miles armed, mostly in SC.



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    I have heard of a guy in central Michigan that open carries all the time on a motorcycle. He lives in a small community and the cops know who he is. From time to time the cops will get a call on him and they explain to the person that it is legal. So the same idea should be applyed to bicycles.
    Special offer - buy a copy of "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" and get a free copy of "Bond of Unseen Blood" Go to http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Looks like the law DOES allow bike carry.

    750.227d Transporting or possessing firearm in or upon motor vehicle or self-propelled vehicle designed for land travel; conditions; violation as misdemeanor; penalty.
    Sec. 227d.
    (1) Except as otherwise permitted by law, a person shall not transport or possess in or upon a motor vehicle or any self-propelled vehicle designed for land travel a firearm, other than a pistol, unless the firearm is unloaded and is 1 or more of the following:
    (a) Taken down.
    (b) Enclosed in a case.
    (c) Carried in the trunk of the vehicle.
    (d) Inaccessible from the interior of the vehicle.
    (2) 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.
    History: Add. 1981, Act 103, Eff. Mar. 31, 1982
    © 2007 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    It's the only law I've seen that covers both man powered vehicles and firearms. And if there are no laws prohibiting a behavior...
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    Regular Member Anubis's Avatar
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    750.227d restricts carryin vehicles offirearms other than pistols, so it seems to allow carrying pistols in or on vehicles. This appears to to conflict with Michigan laws quoted in other threads here which disallow pistols in vehicles.
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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Yes, but, the other laws seem tocover vehicleswith motors.
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    Joe

    I have emailed the local Sheriff here in Jackson Michigan. The email from Command said, they don't see any problem with open carry on a bicycle, if the handgun is out in the open.
    Last edited by joeoo99; 07-13-2012 at 04:52 PM.

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    Since this was epically necro posted, I'll assist in bringing it back to life with an answer I received recently.

    From attorney Melissa Pearce in regards to my question of non CPL OC on a bicycle.

    Her response:

    First, let's define a bicycle. According to MCL 257.4, a bicycle means a device propelled byhuman power upon which a person may ride, having either 2 or 3 wheels in a tandem or tricycle arrangement, all of which are over 14 inches in diameter. This is not a vehicle with a motor. Therefore, we are not even discussing MCL 750.227d, which specificially deals with transporting or possessing a firearm in or upon a motor vehicle or self-propelled vehicle designed for land travel.

    Second, I looked to find what the legislature meant by a "self-propelled vehicle". Initially, I thought of self as being individual. However, the statutes did not provide me with any clear definition of what was meant by self-propelled. So, I turned to case law, which is where the courts interpret the statutes. I first looked at People v Boscaglia, 357 NW2d 648 (Mich 1984), where the court said that a motor vehicle means every vehicle which is self-propelled and every vehicle is propelled by electric power from overhead trolley wires but not operated upon rails (citing MCL 257.33). So, alright we are looking at automobiles, trolley cars operating on overhead wires, but not trolley cars on tracks, not the People Mover since it is on a rail and not trains. Still no clue as to what a "self-propelled vehicle" is or is not. Then later in the case, the court states that a motor vehicle is an automobile, automobile truck, automobile wagon, motorcycle, or any other self-propelled vehicle designed for running on land but not on rails. Later, the court said the body of an automobile is not a self-propelled vehicle within the meaning of the statute. So there is a little more clarity on motor vehicle and what it is and is not, but not on self-propelled.

    Then I looked at People v Jackson, Mich App 2012, unpublished. This case involved a rifle partially-covered by a blanket on the back seat of a car parked next to a vacant house in an alley. I looked at the case to see if it explained the self-propelled, but I learned a good tidbit to pass along. And I will at the end.


    My Golden Nuggest from People v Jackson is this:

    So long as evidence is in plain view in a vehicle, it may be seized without a warrant so long as police "are lawfully in a position from which they view the item, and . . . the item's incriminating character is immediately apparent." (cited from People v Champion, 452 Mich 92, 1996)

    If, however, the police lack probable cause to believe theobject in plain view is contraband without conducting some further search of the object - i.e., if its incriminating character [is not] immediately apparent - the plain-view doctrine cannot justify its seizure. (from Minnesota v Dickerson, 508 US 366).
    Next I did what the Justices will do first when the plain meaning of a statute is not clear, I consulted a dictionary. In Random House Webster's College Dictionary, "self-propelled" is defined as being "propelled by its own engine, motor, or the like." Therefore, after reading this definition, there is no way a bicycle can be a self-propelled vehicle if it is human powered. Therefore, MCL 750.227d would not apply and I could open carry on the bicycle and not risk being found to conceal carry. Although, if I put a small engine on the same bicycle, I have changed its characteristics and classification and would be found to be violating MCL 750.227d for open carrying while riding that same bicycle now equipped with the small engine.

    So, yes. If the individual can legally possess the firearm, then he can legally oc while riding his bicycle.
    Last edited by Yance; 07-13-2012 at 05:50 PM.
    The worst weapon is the human mind, its created and done things far worse than a gun can, has, or ever will. Its the human mind that tells the gun what to do and animates the inanimate object.

    With all these gun control laws in place I have yet to find a single one that has saved someones life, but I can find hundreds of stories where a gun has.

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    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Epic necro bump indeed. Without a CPL, unless you have a fat wallet to fund a legal battle, bicycle, horse, snowmobile, motorcycle carry, and any other vehicle carry, cannot be suggested. It is a gray area until we get some case law on it, or an AG opinion.

    Here is the issue


    750.227 Concealed weapons; carrying; penalty.
    Sec. 227.

    (1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged nonfolding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person.

    (2) A person shall not carry a pistol concealed on or about his or her person, or, whether concealed or otherwise, in a vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business, or on other land possessed by the person, without a license to carry the pistol as provided by law and if licensed, shall not carry the pistol in a place or manner inconsistent with any restrictions upon such license.

    (3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,500.00.



    Remember that definitions from one law do not define words in other laws. And when the law lacks a stated definition, we must refer to the dictionary definition. Could you convince a judge and jury that a bicycle isn't a vehicle as intended by the law makers for the purpose of that law? Maybe, maybe not. I wish anyone who tests it the best of luck, because a felony conviction is no joke.
    Last edited by Michigander; 07-13-2012 at 06:22 PM.
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    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    Epic necro bump indeed. Without a CPL, unless you have a fat wallet to fund a legal battle, bicycle, horse, snowmobile, motorcycle carry, and any other vehicle carry, cannot be suggested. It is a gray area until we get some case law on it, or an AG opinion.

    Here is the issue


    750.227 Concealed weapons; carrying; penalty.
    Sec. 227.

    (1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged nonfolding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person.

    (2) A person shall not carry a pistol concealed on or about his or her person, or, whether concealed or otherwise, in a vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business, or on other land possessed by the person, without a license to carry the pistol as provided by law and if licensed, shall not carry the pistol in a place or manner inconsistent with any restrictions upon such license.

    (3) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or by a fine of not more than $2,500.00.



    Remember that definitions from one law do not define words in other laws. And when the law lacks a stated definition, we must refer to the dictionary definition. Could you convince a judge and jury that a bicycle isn't a vehicle as intended by the law makers for the purpose of that law? Maybe, maybe not. I wish anyone who tests it the best of luck, because a felony conviction is no joke.
    I think that the use of "in a vehicle" precludes a violation of the CC law. That being said, and noting that most police officers have a very meager understanding of the law; I don't think that you would be successfully convicted. If you have money to spend, imho, it would be likely that the charges would be dropped.

  11. #11
    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    Looks like the law DOES allow bike carry.

    750.227d Transporting or possessing firearm in or upon motor vehicle or self-propelled vehicle designed for land travel; conditions; violation as misdemeanor; penalty.
    Sec. 227d.
    (1) Except as otherwise permitted by law, a person shall not transport or possess in or upon a motor vehicle or any self-propelled vehicle designed for land travel a firearm, other than a pistol, unless the firearm is unloaded and is 1 or more of the following:
    (a) Taken down.
    (b) Enclosed in a case.
    (c) Carried in the trunk of the vehicle.
    (d) Inaccessible from the interior of the vehicle.
    (2) 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.
    History: Add. 1981, Act 103, Eff. Mar. 31, 1982
    © 2007 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

    It's the only law I've seen that covers both man powered vehicles and firearms. And if there are no laws prohibiting a behavior...

    I think if you search a little further that a bicycle is NOT "self-propelled" unless it has a MOTOR...it is normally propelled by the rider. And didn't a prior poster post the part where a bicycle is NOT a vehicle? Sounds like you are good to go on a bike!
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  12. #12
    Regular Member Michigander's Avatar
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    This thread, and the post you quoted, are among my very first actions on this web site. Pretty dated, since I didn't really know what I was talking about back then. That law in my necro quote isn't applicable to the topic at hand.

    The law in my newer quote, 227, is the one that is relevant.
    Last edited by Michigander; 07-13-2012 at 07:12 PM.
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    I too believe that 227 is the relevant statute.

    The thought here is generally, at least from what I gather from the many "officials" that I have spoken with, including a number of "our" lawyers on this, is this. "If one can be charged with a DUI on a bycicle, then it is logical that one can be charged with CCW on a bycicle"

    That said, anyone can be charged with anything, convictions are a different story. As we have seen in various cases across the state, "justice" is at best, a crap shoot. Look at how far CADL has had to go, and the ball is still in the air. None of us think it should have been a question. Look at my case too, and Seans, look at Rob and Scott at the picnic. That didnt even get a case, wasn't justice though. Look at Mr. Haman, or perhaps Yance. There are others.

    What we can't count on, or certainly risk our futures on, is our justice system doing the right thing. Does this have anything at all to do with crime? Keeping guns away from dangerous people? Keeping them out of the hands of untrained minors/ No. Just rules for the sake of having rules, and nothing else.

    I would strongly advise that a person without a CPL refrain from exercising their inalienable rights guaranteed to be protected by the US and MI constitutions, God and all common sense, until such time passes that we retake the powers and laws by whatever means become necessary and return this country to its rightful and prescribed place as under we the people.

    lol

    Anyhow, this is one of the issues that Yance and I have been working on for the last couple of months.

  14. #14
    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander View Post
    This thread, and the post you quoted, are among my very first actions on this web site. Pretty dated, since I didn't really know what I was talking about back then. That law in my necro quote isn't applicable to the topic at hand.

    The law in my newer quote, 227, is the one that is relevant.
    Wow! I didn't notice how old the OP was.. and didn't realize it was for concealed carry as well.
    "You cannot REASON someone out of a position that they did not REASON themselves into." --Unkown
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    If you are going to be stupid, you better be tough!

    --------
    "All generalizations are false, including this one." - Samuel Clemens
    ---------
    "A right delayed is a right denied." -- MLK Jr.
    ---------
    "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others"

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