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Thread: What is the law on OC while in a car?

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    So I just got my new Springfield XD .40 (love it by the way!) and its my first gun and i'm trying to learn all the laws so as to not get into trouble. I would like to open carry but I want to be sure I know what to and not to do first. First of all, I don't have a CCW/CPL so can I even have it on me in the car? do I just carry it like normal? Whats the law? Thanks in advance. and i'll be at the next picnic in Portage! See you there!



    Oh, and i'm sure this has been covered before on here but I couldn't get the search button to work. so sorry if this is old news.

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    Regular Member FatboyCykes's Avatar
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    Welcome SAXD Please add your location, city and state to your profile, thanks.


    Without a CPL you cannot carry a loaded pistol in your car, it must be unloaded, and in the trunk or out of reach of any unauthorized persons. Carrying, loaded, in a car w/o a CPL is a big nono.

    Also, do a little bit more research regarding transport of a firearm w/o a CPL in a car, seems to be a gray area

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    Thanks for the info. i thought it was illegal but wasn't positive. So what do you do when you want to carry. Just go to your trunk and load/unload everytime you want to carry?

    I guess this won't be a big deal for me for long anway. I'm getting my CPL ASAP. Just wanted to know for the meantime.

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    Regular Member FatboyCykes's Avatar
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    Correct, but the law regarding legal/lawful transport of a pistol is a little foggy, you'll find it under the info thread I believe, there are something like 7 listed reasons for lawful/legal transport in a vehicle. The debate is weather the 7 listed reasons are inclusive or exclusive, meaning, are they just examples of reasons to lawful carry, in addition to self protection, which is not listed, or are they the ONLY reasons that you can transport in a vehicle, of the which, again, PP is not listed.

    Hope that makes sense to you.

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    lots of good info there!

    I have a truck so no trunk but it is an extended cab. Can I keep the gun in back locked up and the magazine in say the glove box? If I can, can the mag be loaded? Or do you have to keep it unloaded until you are ready to carry?



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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    You can keep the mag and the gun together in a locked case that is not easily accessible to the driver.

    The mag may be loaded but has to be out of the gun and the chamber must be empty.

    I use a pelican case with two pelican locks when I am transporting in this fashion. Of course now I don't have to worry about handguns BC I have my CPL.


    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    Regular Member FatboyCykes's Avatar
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    It is my understanding, that the gun has to be unloaded, and "unavailable" to the driver or any other passenger. Mag can be loaded, gun cannot, no mag, nothing chambered. W/a truck, I'm not sure if you could get away with just putting it behind the seat or weather you'd need a lock box or not. I know it's been discussed several times and somebody who's not as lazy as I or who has the answer off the top of their head will chime in soon to clarify on that one

    Again, welcome, glad you're posting, keep it up and keep the questions coming, I know I haven't been much help, but there are many here much smrtr than I :P


    Edit: See, I told you, thanks Auto.


    PS, Which XD do you carry?

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    Hey Fatboy (your name sounds like i'm being mean ), any info is good info!

    AndI carry the4" service model in .40. Only have 150 rounds through it but I just got it Friday and ammo is kinda hard to find right now. No problems yet though!

    I did manage to find 600 rounds at Wally Worldyesterday so I grabbed 300.

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    Regular Member FatboyCykes's Avatar
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    Nice, and gratz on the ammo. I'm down to about 300 rounds in my "stock" so I won't be shooting until I find some more, dang wally world, dang it to heck!

    Stick around and read up the info will make your head spin in a few days time.

    Def. check out wash rinse repeat if you haven't already, and when you're done reading it, read it about 187 more times.

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    Autosurgeon and Fatboy: thank-you for the clarification on transport w/o a CPL. I had been transporting my pistol in the case in the trunk and the mags (loaded) separately in my range bag, also in the trunk. It will be less hassle to keep them all together.

    Do either of you know if there is an MCL cite that speaks to this for confirmation?


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    Regular Member FatboyCykes's Avatar
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    It's the MCL on tansport, dang it, gimme a sec :P

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    Regular Member FatboyCykes's Avatar
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    Here is a thread where it is discussed, towards the bottom anyways, the MCL's are mentioned.

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Per the MSP and the MCL is listed

    Concealed Weapons (Non-CPL Holders)
    1. If I do not have a CCW permit, may I transport my pistol in a motor vehicle?
    MCL 750.231a A person is now permitted to transport a pistol for a lawful purpose if the owner or occupant of the vehicle is the registered owner of the firearm and the pistol is unloaded and in a closed case in the trunk of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the pistol may be in the passenger compartment of the vehicle unloaded and inaccessible to the occupants of the vehicle.
    A 'lawful purpose' includes:
    • While en route to or from a hunting or target shooting area.
    • While transporting a pistol to or from home or place of business and a place of repair.
    • While moving goods from one place of residence or business to another place of residence or business.
    • While transporting a licensed pistol to or from a law enforcement agency for the purpose of having a safety inspection performed (registering the pistol) or to have a law enforcement official take possession of the pistol.
    • While en route to or from home or place of business to a gun show or place of purchase or sale.
    • While en route to or from home to a public shooting facility or land where the discharge of firearms is permitted.
    • While en route to or from home to private property where the pistol is to be used as permitted by law, rule, regulation, or local ordinance.

    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    Regular Member FatboyCykes's Avatar
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    Thank you AS, I forgot to even post the linky to mah thread.

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    No problem... I have most of em bookmarked by description so it is easy to find em when I need em!
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    autosurgeon wrote:
    Per the MSP and the MCL is listed

    Concealed Weapons (Non-CPL Holders)
    1. If I do not have a CCW permit, may I transport my pistol in a motor vehicle?
    MCL 750.231a A person is now permitted to transport a pistol for a lawful purpose if the owner or occupant of the vehicle is the registered owner of the firearm and the pistol is unloaded and in a closed case in the trunk of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the pistol may be in the passenger compartment of the vehicle unloaded and inaccessible to the occupants of the vehicle.
    A 'lawful purpose' includes:
    • While en route to or from a hunting or target shooting area.
    • While transporting a pistol to or from home or place of business and a place of repair.
    • While moving goods from one place of residence or business to another place of residence or business.
    • While transporting a licensed pistol to or from a law enforcement agency for the purpose of having a safety inspection performed (registering the pistol) or to have a law enforcement official take possession of the pistol.
    • While en route to or from home or place of business to a gun show or place of purchase or sale.
    • While en route to or from home to a public shooting facility or land where the discharge of firearms is permitted.
    • While en route to or from home to private property where the pistol is to be used as permitted by law, rule, regulation, or local ordinance.
    The word I highlighted in red "includes" seems to infer that there are other lawful reasons other than the ones listed BUT I am not a lawyer soooo

    For instance if it said A 'lawful purpose' is or is defined as.... then you could infer that it is a closed ended list. But the way is worded leads me to beleive that it is actually just a sample list of some commen reasons that would be legal.

    Feel free to shoot holes in my reasoning!!
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    It kind of scares me that no where in that does it say something to the effect of "you may transport to or from a place you are allowed to open carry". Although that may be what you are talking about with you "included" statement. hopefully you are right about that. My best friend's mom is a lawyer. I should talk to her. I i find anything, i'll post it.

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    SA-XD wrote:
    It kind of scares me that no where in that does it say something to the effect of "you may transport to or from a place you are allowed to open carry".* Although that may be what you are talking about with you "included" statement.* hopefully you are right about that.* My best friend's mom is a lawyer.* I should talk to her.* I i find anything, i'll post it.
    The way the law works is that it defines what activities are ILLEGAL. everything else is legal.

    In this particular instance, the legislature decided to give a non-inclusive list of activities which would be legal.

    Some here have petitioned their legislators to clarify this law, to include the phrase "but not limited to" to the list, or simply remove the list altogether, as it is not within the spirit of the law to include activities which are legal.

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    Regular Member DanM's Avatar
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    FatboyCykes wrote:
    . . . the law regarding legal/lawful transport of a pistol is a little foggy, you'll find it under the info thread I believe, there are something like 7 listed reasons for lawful/legal transport in a vehicle. The debate is weather the 7 listed reasons are inclusive or exclusive, meaning, are they just examples of reasons to lawful carry, in addition to self protection, which is not listed, or are they the ONLY reasons that you can transport in a vehicle, of the which, again, PP is not listed.
    Here's the deal if you are properly transporting a handgun and you do not have a CPL:

    If you are stopped by the police, limit your conversation to the reason why the officer stopped you. Ask immediately, "Good day, officer, why did you stop me?" If you are asked if you know why you were stopped, answer "No. Why did you stop me?" Do not answer questions about whether or not you have weapons in the car (make sureyour weapons areout of sight, but properly stored of course). You can say, "I do not wish to discuss the contents of my vehicle." If you are asked where you are coming from or going to, say "I do not wish to discuss my itinerary, officer." As always, NEVER consent to a search (of yourself, your belongings, or your vehicle) and BE VOCAL about it. Do not ever say one thing about the contents of yourvehicle or theitinerary you are followingto anyone, until you have talked to an attorney, if it ever gets that far.
    "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi . . ."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

    He who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden.--M. K. Gandhi

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." --M. K. Gandhi

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    Your itinerary is none of their business unless they articulate reasonable suspicion in which case you shouldn't say anything else anyway!!
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    SA-XD wrote:
    It kind of scares me that no where in that does it say something to the effect of "you may transport to or from a place you are allowed to open carry". Although that may be what you are talking about with you "included" statement. hopefully you are right about that. My best friend's mom is a lawyer. I should talk to her. I i find anything, i'll post it.
    It does not specifically say it, but instead says this "While en route to or from home to private property where the pistol is to be used as permitted by law, rule, regulation, or local ordinance."Open Carry is permitted by law and most businesses (and homes/property) are considered private property.

    I had an officer try to charge me with CCW (Carrying a Concealed Weapon) when I was pulled over while my gun was in the trunk seperate from the ammo like it was supposed to be and in a case because I didn't have my CPL at the time. The officer asked me "where are you coming from", "where are you going", and "where you at a shooting range today". The reason they asked me these questions was so they could (in their words!) "jam him up".

    The prosecuting attorney did not charge me with this crime though, not to say that someone else could not be charged with it though. Remember, you can be arrested and charged for ANYTHING. Read WASH, RINSE, REPEAT (a thread stickied on the main forum page). Memorize it, and when you have it memorized, READ IT AGAIN! It looks like alot to read, but it it vital if you plan to OC!!! Print it, and keep a copy on your person when out and about OCing. Take it from me. I glimpsed it over before I started OCing and fell victim to those LEO's "tricks". Remember, when an officer is talking to you and asking you questions ANYTHING YOU SAY, CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU IN A COURT OF LAW! Get a recorder to cover your tucus.

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    DanM wrote:
    FatboyCykes wrote:
    . . . the law regarding legal/lawful transport of a pistol is a little foggy, you'll find it under the info thread I believe, there are something like 7 listed reasons for lawful/legal transport in a vehicle. The debate is weather the 7 listed reasons are inclusive or exclusive, meaning, are they just examples of reasons to lawful carry, in addition to self protection, which is not listed, or are they the ONLY reasons that you can transport in a vehicle, of the which, again, PP is not listed.
    Here's the deal if you are properly transporting a handgun and you do not have a CPL:

    If you are stopped by the police, limit your conversation to the reason why the officer stopped you. Ask immediately, "Good day, officer, why did you stop me?" If you are asked if you know why you were stopped, answer "No. Why did you stop me?" Do not answer questions about whether or not you have weapons in the car (make sureyour weapons out of sight, but properly stored of course). If you are asked where you are coming from or going to, say "I do not wish to discuss my itinerary, officer." Do not ever say one thing about your itinerary to anyone, until you have talked to an attorney, if it ever gets that far.
    Good suggestions. I wouldn't even answer the question of why I was pulled over. Just respond with the question of, "Why did you pull me over?".

    Understand that your going along for the officer's line of questioning may well annoy him to the point that he finds something to get you on (he can if he wants to).

    Also, I too would recommend getting a lock for the case. In the event that they do search your vehicle, it's one more barrier for them to justify violating.

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    Thanks for posting that autosurgeon. And, wtf, did I have a brain fart? Granted I'm still a noob on here, but I'm sure I've read that a couple times before. Just when I thought I had a pretty good handle on most of the pertinent MCLs. Still learning all the time.

    Thanks again.

    Add: after thinking about it some more, I'm still a little iffy on the definition of "unloaded" for a pistol. It seems like a busy-body PA could argue that a loaded magazine, when separated from, but within the same case as the pistol, constitutes a "loaded" pistol. I think I'll play it safe with the mags in the range bag instead of the case. At least until I get my CPL (class this weekend!).


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    Regular Member FatboyCykes's Avatar
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    MI is a "reasonable man" state. I think any "reasonable" man or woman would read that law and understand that it only means the weapon. But do what you're comfortable with.

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    This subject of "transport" versus "carry" came up recently and I promised that I'd try to get clarification of the law through an AG opinion.

    Just an update: I received an email from Senator (Redacted) a few days ago advising me that he has having a policy expert research this, and that he will get back to me when he receives advice. It doesn't appear that it will be an AG opinion... but it will (hopefully) be usable advice direct from a lawmaker. Then again, the policy expert may advise the involvement of the AG for his opinion.

    I'll share more as I learn more.

    Edited to Add: Removed Senators name... not as his request or anything, but out of respect for him in case he wishes to remain neutral on the issue.

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