Sgt. Deasy dis write this in an email.
"It is legal to openly carry a pistol on a bicycle. Michigan law (MCL 750.227) makes it illegal to carry a pistol in a vehicle without a CPL. Since a person rides on (not in) a bicycle, a pistol is not concealed if carried openly by the rider."
I also received this from him.
I don't think the issue is whether bicycles are vehicles - I think they are. The question is whether a person carrying a visible pistol while riding a bicycle is carrying the pistol IN a vehicle as prohibited by MCL 750.227; in order to be guilty of carrying a concealed pistol, a non-CPL holder must be carrying the pistol IN the vehicle.
The Penal Code does not define "in" so I checked a couple dictionaries and found that as an adverb 'in' generally means "on the inside" or "within." Thus, I don't think a person carrying a plainly visible pistol (e.g., housed in a hip-holster) on a bicycle - or motorcycle - is carrying the pistol in a vehicle, so they're not guilty of violating MCL 750.227. Contrast that with a person transporting a pistol inside a storage compartment attached to a bicycle or motorcycle - in that case they are carrying the pistol IN the vehicle. I think my analysis is supported by the Court's opinion in People v. Nimeth, 236 Mich. App. 616 (1999) (discussing a pistol hidden IN a motorcycle).
Further, the purpose of MCL 750.227 "is to protect quarreling persons from being injured by an adversary who might suddenly draw and use a concealed weapon without notice." People v. Emery, 150 Mich. App. 657, 663 (1986). Charging a person on a bicycle or motorcycle would hardly be within the purpose of the statute; after all, openly carrying a pistol serves notice that the person is in possession of a pistol.
That said, I am simply relaying our position on the matter. As I've mentioned to you before, the MSP cannot give legal opinions that bind another police agency. So, if someone is concerned about overzealous officers, they should probably play it safe and not openly carry on a bicycle or motorcycle, or they should get a Concealed Pistol License."
Regards, Sgt. Thomas Deasy
Michigan State Police-Executive Resource Section
714 S. Harrison Rd. East Lansing, MI 48823