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Possessing a Firearm in Grand Rapids

It is easy to obtain a firearm purchase permit in Michigan, and there is nothing unlawful about an individual keeping the weapon in their home or place of business. No additional permit is needed for this. However, transporting the gun may present legal challenges.

To discuss such issues or better understand the laws regarding firearm possession in Grand Rapids, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. A knowledgeable gun attorney in Grand Rapids can help defend such charges and reduce any potential consequences you may face.

Initial Steps to Take

The legality surrounding the possession of a firearm in Grand Rapids depends on where the gun is kept. In some instances, there are no steps necessary, provided the gun was lawfully purchased and properly registered. To carry the gun does require some steps, however.

The first step is to download and fill out an application for a concealed pistol license (CPL) and then file that application with the county clerk where a person resides. The application can be downloaded from the state police. When a person downloads the application and fills it out, it will cost them $100 to file it.

An individual must also have a copy of their certificate that proves they have attended an approved training class. They must swear to the truth of the application in the presence of the clerk and then sign it in their presence.

Issuing a License

The next step required to legally possess a firearm in Grand Rapids is for an individual to have their fingerprints taken by the local sheriff, state police, or other local police agency. The price for the fingerprinting process is $15. As long as the person is 21 years of age, has not been convicted of a felony, has not been convicted of certain types of misdemeanors, and does not have any mental health history, they will be issued a concealed pistol license within 45 days.

However, there are a couple of other restrictions, and the entire list should be reviewed before the person pays the filing fee. There is no return of the filing fee if the CPL is not issued, but there is a right to appeal.

Proving Lawful Registration

To legally possess a firearm in Grand Rapids, an individual must prove that their weapon has been registered. If the individual is a CPL holder, then they must possess their CPL. This is a plastic document that has a photograph. An individual must also possess another type of valid identification, such as a state ID or a state driver’s ID.

If an individual has a weapon with them, they must have the documentation on them at all times. If a person does not have a weapon, they do not have to have their CPL with them. There are currently more than 14,000 CPL holders in Kent County, which is the county within which Grand Rapids resides.

Excluded Areas

If a person has a CPL, they can carry the weapon anywhere so long as it is not within one of the excluded areas. These excluded areas include:

  • Any type of school or school property. An individual cannot go inside the actual school house building with their weapon in their possession. However, a person can go and pick up and drop off their kids at school and have the gun with them in the car if they have a CPL.
  • A public or private child care center
  • Any type of sports arena
  • A bar or any other place that is licensed by Michigan to distribute alcohol by the glass, if that is the primary means of the income or business for that facility. A person can bring their gun, if it is a concealed weapon, to a restaurant that serves alcohol so long as alcohol is not the primary source of income.
  • Any place of worship, including a church, synagogue or mosque
  • Any entertainment facility that has a capacity of 2,500 people or more
  • A hospital
  • A dormitory or classroom at a college or university
  • Any courtroom, unless it is otherwise allowed by the chief judge

Actions to Avoid

An individual may possess a firearm in Grand Rapids for a variety of reasons. These can include hunting, self-defense, sport, or a hobby. A person may just enjoy target practice or another type of gun-related sport. They may enjoy hunting or want to possess the gun for self-defense. No matter the reason, it is essential to follow the regulations.

When possessing a firearm in Grand Rapids, a person cannot go to the places which have excluded firearms. A person should not be careless, and should not leave their weapon in their car. If an individual has a concealed weapon, they should not leave it in the car when they go into the shopping center, for example. Since it is careless to leave the gun in the car, it is also illegal to do that.

Further, an individual should not brandish the weapon or show it to anybody. They need to treat their possession of a firearm in Grand Rapids responsibly. If they unlawfully discharge the weapon, particularly if they hurt someone, they will be charged with a crime whether they are a CPL holder or not.

Illegal Possession

If an individual is in possession of an illegal firearm, then they will be in violation of the law and will face a serious felony. It is also criminal to possess an unlicensed gun.

If an individual does not have a CPL and is carrying a concealed weapon, then they may be charged with a felony penalized by up to five years in prison. For example, if there is a firearm in an individual’s car within reach, then they will be considered in possession of it, and can be charged with a crime.

However, a person is able to lawfully possess and use for self-defense a weapon in their home, their place of business, or any other place that they are allowed to carry a gun without a license, such as hunting property or other similar areas under certain circumstances.

If a person is in violation of any of these things, then they will be charged with a felony.