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Transporting Firearms in Michigan

Gun rights in Michigan are not without limits, and it is important for everyone to understand the situations under which weapons charges can be lodged. Michigan’s legislature has seen fit to impose a series of rules and regulations governing gun policies.

In order to best understand the requirements for legally transporting firearms, a Michigan gun lawyer can help you navigate the complicated regulations in order to secure the most positive outcome if you face gun charges.

Reasons for Transportation

The most common reasons a person might have for transporting a firearm is because they are going hunting or target shooting. They might even want to transport a firearm without a license for purposes of a historical reenactment. In general, those are exceptions to the concealed weapons law, so for example, an individual is able to take a weapon from their home and transport it to a target range where they intend to shoot it. Also, a gun may be transported to a place of repair, or to a police station for a safety inspection. Someone does not need a permit to do that provided they can demonstrate to the police officer that they are between point A and point B.

Concealing Firearms

It is always in an individual’s best interest when transporting a weapon in Michigan under any circumstances to keep it in a locked container and to keep the ammunition separate. Specifically, the law indicates that firearms and weapons such as rifles, shotguns, pistols, handguns, and other firearms must be unloaded in both barrel and magazine and enclosed in a case or carried in the trunk of a vehicle. If the firearm is not kept in the trunk, then it should be in a container that is out of the reach and control of the driver.

If the weapon is outside the range of the person’s ability to grab it, in most instances, they can safely transport it, provided it is in a locked container. If the weapon is in the backseat and the person can reach around and grab it, they are effectively in possession of it. When someone does not have a specific area such as the locked glove box or preferably the trunk, they can put the weapon into a gun safe or attach a trigger lock to the weapons so that it is inoperable during the transportation.

If someone wants to make sure that the police officer who stops them satisfied that they followed the law, they should keep it in a locked container, such as a transportable gun safe. The person wants to make sure they do not pose a danger to themselves or anybody else when transporting that weapon. Under those circumstances, there is nothing unlawful about possessing and transporting the weapon in Michigan. The same is true for hunting. The only other exception is when an individual is bringing the weapon to a point of sale or when the individual is moving the weapon from one location to another such as when they are moving to a new home. These are lawful and appropriate exceptions to the concealed weapons law and a person can lawfully transport the weapon in Michigan under those circumstances.

Legal Requirements

If someone does not have a Concealed Pistol’s License, the best and safest way to transport a weapon in Michigan is to keep it in a locked container and keep the weapon and the ammunition separate so the weapon is not actually loaded during the transportation.

The required two steps are first to separate the ammunition from the weapon and, then to place the weapon into a locked container. At the least, there should be a trigger lock on the weapon so that it is inoperable at the time of transportation, and it must be out of reach of the driver, preferably in a locked trunk. Once the individual arrives at their destination, they can assemble the weapon and load the ammunition, provided they have a lawful reason to do so. The individual must disassemble it again and separate it before transporting the gun back to the original location. Unless one of the exceptions to lawful transportation apply or unless the individual has a valid concealed weapons permit, it is always unlawful to transport a weapon.