Many members belong to or know someone that belongs to a shooting or sportsman clubs that publish newsletters. They often are searching for articles to include in them. Why not submit an article on OC. Below is an article I submitted to my club (modified from my article in the Lansing State Journal). You are welcome to use (cut and paste) this article as long as you credit the author (me). Or if you modify it please state that it was modified from my article. Or you can write an entirely different article and submit it. If printed in clubs around the state this has the potential to reach many people that share our love of firearms and the 2nd amendment and help inform the public on the legality of open carry.


[/b][/b][/b]A movement is growing nationwide as more residents are exercising a right that is not often used. That right is the open carry of a handgun for all lawful purposes. Forty-four states allow the open carry of a handgun by adults who can lawfully own one. Few realize that Michigan is one of these states.

One does not need a concealed pistol license (CPL) to open carry, but it makes it easier to do so. In Michigan, non-CPL holders can only transport an unloaded handgun secured in a case or in the trunk of their vehicle under specific conditions defined by law MCL[/b]

CPL holders, however, can transport a loaded handgun in their vehicle or on their person, either concealed or openly. CPL holders can carry or transport a handgun registered to another person as long as the handgun is lawfully owned and registered in Michigan MCL Act 372, 28.432. A non-CPL holder can only carry a handgun that is registered in their name.

Carrying a pistol in a holster openly is not brandishing.The term brandishing is defined as: 1. To wave or flourish menacingly, as a weapon. 2. To display ostentatiously.A menacing or defiant wave or flourish. Attorney General opinion No. 7101 states “…it is my opinion, therefore, that…by carrying a handgun in a holster that is in plain view, does not violate section 234e of the Michigan Penal Code, which prohibits brandishing a firearm in public.

Disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct are not enforceable for just the lawful open carry of a handgun. Since a person who is not licensed to carry concealed must open carry their firearms on foot in order to avoid criminal charge, nor is there any duty for anyone licensed to conceal their handgun, open carry is not disorderly conduct. The open carrying of firearms is not by itself threatening, nor does it cause a hazardous or physically offensive condition.

In 1990, the Michigan legislature enacted MCL 123.1102 that disallows local municipalities from passing laws more restrictive than the state without state approval. This preemption law covers both concealed and open carry. This allows concealed (With a license.) or open carry (With or without a license.) in any city as well as most municipal buildings. Most federal property has restrictions on firearm possession. A review of federal firearm laws is recommended. Additionally, private property owners can restrict firearms in their building and on their property. If you are asked to leave private property, you must do so or face a trespass charge.

Why open carry? One reason is that an adult under 21 years of age can not get a CPL in Michigan, but the law allows them to openly carry. A second reason is that a person may not be able to afford the high cost of the initial permit, which can exceed $300. A third reason is to exercise a right that is recognized by both the state and federal governments.
Before deciding to openly carry a handgun, it behooves you to research Michigan
firearm laws. There are restrictions in which a person can possess a firearm. These restrictions vary slightly for concealed carry and open carry. These restrictions can be found inMCL 28.424o and 750.234d. Game laws also exist that restrict times and areas a firearm can be carried.

Openly carrying a firearm has restrictions and is not for everyone. Become familiar with firearm laws and the use of deadly force. Take a firearms self-defense course. Carrying a firearm is a great responsibility each person must consider. For those wishing to carry a firearm for protection and all lawful purposes, though, it is an option worth looking into. Remember, a right not exercised is a right lost. For more information on open carry go to and visit the Michigan forum.

Brian Jeffs is a member of the Looking Glass River Sportsman Club and lives in Bath.