Citation(s) from the GunPolicy.org literature library
Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 2021 ‘Guns in Vehicles in Michigan.’ Guns in Public. San Francisco, CA: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. 21 September
Guns in Vehicles in Michigan
Michigan prohibits the carrying of a handgun, concealed or unconcealed, in a vehicle operated or occupied by the person. This restriction does not apply to: 1) concealed handgun licensees; 2) persons transporting a handgun for any lawful purpose, licensed for concealment by an owner or occupant of the motor vehicle, which handgun is unloaded and in a closed case designed for firearm storage in the trunk of the vehicle; or 3) persons transporting a handgun for any lawful purpose, licensed for concealment by an owner or occupant of the motor vehicle, which handgun is unloaded and in a closed case designed for firearm storage in a vehicle that does not have a trunk, and is not readily accessible to the occupants. "Lawful purpose" includes transporting the handgun while:
- En route to or from a hunting or target shooting area;
- En route to or from a home or place of business and place of repair;
- Moving goods from one place of abode or business to another place of abode or business;
- Transporting a licensed handgun en route to or from a law enforcement agency for the purpose of having a law enforcement official take possession of the handgun;
- En route to or from an abode or place of business and a gun show or places of purchase or sale;
- En route to or from an abode to a public shooting facility or public land where discharge of firearms is permitted by law; or
- En route to or from an abode to private property where the handgun is to be used as permitted by law.
Michigan also prohibits the transportation or possession of any loaded firearm, other than a handgun, in or upon a sailboat, motor vehicle, aircraft, motorboat, or any other vehicle propelled by mechanical means. Furthermore, Michigan law provides that no person shall transport or possess in or upon a motor vehicle or any self-propelled vehicle designed for land travel a firearm, other than a handgun, unless the firearm is unloaded and is:
- Enclosed in a case;
- Carried in the trunk of the vehicle; or
- Inaccessible from the interior of the vehicle.
Generally, a person may not transport or have in his or her possession a firearm in or upon a vehicle, unless both the barrel and magazine are unloaded and the gun is enclosed in a case, carried in the trunk of a vehicle, or unloaded in a motorized boat.
In addition, a person shall not carry or transport a firearm while in any area frequented by wild animals unless the person has in his or her possession a license to carry a concealed handgun or is otherwise exempt from the licensing requirement. When hunting or in a location frequented by wild animals, if a person has a concealed handgun license or falls into an exception to the license requirement, the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act and related regulations shall not be construed to prohibit a person from transporting or carrying a loaded handgun, whether concealed or not.
Michigan law also provides that a person may carry, transport or possess a firearm without a hunting license if the firearm is unloaded in both the barrel and magazine, and either enclosed in a case or carried in a vehicle in a location that is not readily accessible to any occupant of the vehicle. Furthermore, a person may carry, transport, possess or discharge a firearm without a hunting license if:
- The person is not taking or attempting to take game but is engaged in:
- Target practice using an identifiable, artificially constructed target or targets;
- Practice with silhouettes, plinking, skeet, or trap; or
- Sighting-in the firearm;
- The person is, or is accompanied by or has the permission of:
- The owner of the property on which the target practice or sighting-in referenced above is taking place; or
- The lessee of that property for a term of not less than one year; or
- The owner or lessee of the property does not receive remuneration for the target practice or sighting-in activity.
A person may carry or possess an unloaded weapon at any time if the person is traveling to or from or participating in a historical reenactment.
A person shall not operate an "off-road vehicle" while transporting on the vehicle a firearm unless the firearm is unloaded and securely encased, or equipped with and made inoperative by a manufactured key-locked trigger housing mechanism. Similarly, no person shall operate a snowmobile while transporting a firearm unless the gun in unloaded and securely encased…
[Editor's note: The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence regularly updates its webpages with new data as US gun regulation evolves state by state. For the most up-to-date information on US gun laws, please refer to the Giffords URL below]