Questions frequently asked by new or existing gun owners.
As instructors, we get MANY questions when it comes to firearm. Below is a list of some of the most common questions .
Click the drop-down on the question to view the answers.
Remember, Phoenix Rising Firearm Academy staff are not attorneys and we do not give legal advice. The answers we provide are from Michigan Statute, Attorney General Opinion, Michigan State Police Updates, or Case Law. Always verify answers ANY time you are not speaking directly with an attorney who specializes in firearm or self-defense law. If you have questions we have not answered, please send us a message using the contact form below. If it is a question that does not constitute legal advice, we will be more than happy to dig into it and get the question added to this page.
Please keep in mind that all of these answers assume you are a Michigan resident.
Stay Alert, Stay Safe! PRFA Staff
How do I get my Michigan CPL License?
Step 1. Find a class that complies with section 425j of the Michigan Compiled Laws (found here). Register for that class and complete the course. At the end of this course, you will be given a certificate of completion. Step 2. Take your certificate of completion to the county clerk in the county you reside in. You will need to present them with your certificate of completion, your driver's license or state ID card, your completed and UNSIGNED application (found here), and $100 for the processing fee. Step 3. Take your receipt from the application over to your local police department for fingerprinting. Complete the livescan fingerprinting process. This process is $15. Retain your receipt! If you do not receive your CPL in the mail or a denial letter, after 45 days your receipt will become your CPL until you receive either a denial letter or your CPL in the mail. Step 4. Wait for your CPL card to come in the mail. *Note: Your certificate of course completion at the end of class is NOT your CPL. You are NOT yet licensed to carry a concealed pistol! Doing so is a 5 year felony and may cost your your firearm rights!
*Due to Covid-19 restrictions, this process may be slightly altered. You may need to make an appointment.*
How do I choose a good CPL class?
This can be tricky. Most people who take a CPL course have never taken one before and have nothing to compare their experience to. Ask questions. A lot of questions! Use this FAQ as a reference to be sure your instructor is knowledgeable regarding the subjects they are teaching. A good concealed pistol license course must be strong in all three areas:
Conflict Avoidance and Situational Awareness
Shooting Fundamentals such as grip, trigger press, sight alignment, etc.
State and federal firearm laws and use of force laws. This is typically the only class you will get this education in. An instructor that lacks true knowledge and understanding in this subject can set you up for a lot of legal and financial injuries. "I was taught wrong" will not save you. Seek out an instructor with strong understanding or an attorney well-versed in firearm and civil law.
Additionally, you may want to consider factors such as class size, instructor-to-student ratio, skill-set of the instructor(s), personality and teaching styles.
What is the difference between a CPL and CCW?
Technically speaking a CCW is a Carrying a Concealed Weapons charge. This is when someone carries a concealed pistol or "dangerous weapon" on his or her person or in his or her vehicle without a license to do so. A CCW conviction is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $2,500 fine. For more in-depth information, look to the Michigan Compiled Laws under 750.227 (found here).
A CPL, or Concealed Pistol License, is a license granted to a legal resident of Michigan under the Michigan Firearms Act (Act 327 of 1927, Section 28.425b found here). A person granted a license under this act is lawfully able to carry a concealed pistol on or about his or her person and in a vehicle (whether concealed or not) in places that are not concealed-pistol-free-zones.
Other states have different acronyms for this license, which may be part of why there is confusion and many people believe a CCW is actually a license. In the state of Michigan a CPL is not, nor has it ever been, called a CCW.
Can I buy a pistol without a CPL?
YES! Over the age of 21? You may purchase from an FFL or private sale. Any federal firearms dealer in your state can complete the necessary NICS check for a purchase. You may also go to your local police department or sheriff's office and apply for a pistol purchase license (also called an RI-010). These can be used to satisfy the Brady act and allows for a private purchase. An RI-010 is valid for 30 days. Under the age of 21? No FFL sales are allowed for individuals under 21. However, as stated above, an RI-010 may be obtained and private sales are legal.
Having a CPL is NOT a requirement to purchase a pistol in Michigan.
How long is a compliant CPL class and what is required to be taught?
Michigan Compiled Law Section 28.425j (found here) specifically details what is required for a compliant certification class to apply for a CPL. Notably: A pistol training or safety program described in section 5b(7)(c) meets the requirements for knowledge or training in the safe use and handling of a pistol only if the training was provided within 5 years preceding the date of application and consisted of not less than 8 hours of instruction and all of the following conditions are met: (a) The program is certified by this state or a national or state firearms training organization and provides 5 hours of instruction in, but is not limited to providing instruction in, all of the following: (i) The safe storage, use, and handling of a pistol including, but not limited to, safe storage, use, and handling to protect child safety. (ii) Ammunition knowledge, and the fundamentals of pistol shooting. (iii) Pistol shooting positions. (iv) Firearms and the law, including civil liability issues and the use of deadly force. This portion must be taught by an attorney or an individual trained in the use of deadly force. (v) Avoiding criminal attack and controlling a violent confrontation. (vi) All laws that apply to carrying a concealed pistol in this state. (b) The program provides at least 3 hours of instruction on a firing range and requires firing at least 30 rounds of ammunition.
Is a shortened CPL class illegal in Michigan?
YES! All classes MUST comply with section 28.425j (found here).
The minimum requirement is 5 hours of class instruction and at least 3 hours of instruction on a range. This is a total of 8 hours MINIMUM, no less.
MCL 28.425j(3) states: (3) A person shall not do either of the following: (a) Grant a certificate of completion described under subsection (1)(c) to an individual knowing the individual did not satisfactorily complete the course. (b) Present a certificate of completion described under subsection (1)(c) to a county clerk knowing that the individual did not satisfactorily complete the course. Further, 28.425j(4) states: (4) A person who violates subsection (3) is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,500.00, or both.
A shortened class is non-compliant, can render your CPL invalid, and both the instructor AND the student may be charged with a felony. Keep in mind, a felony conviction bars you from owning a firearm.
Where do I take my certificate to apply for my CPL?
Once you have completed you concealed pistol license training, you must take your certificate to the county clerk's office in the COUNTY YOU RESIDE IN. You will need your certificate, an unsigned application, your identification, and payment for the county clerk's services ($100). They will administer your oath, watch you sign the application, and process your background checks. You will be given a reciept and asked to have your fingerprints taken next. This is typically done at your local law enforcement agency and costs $15. Hang on to the fingerprinting receipt as this will become your CPL after 45 days from the date of the fingerprinting if you have not yet recieved a denial letter or your CPL in the mail.
Many CPL classes have firearms you can try out or rent during a class. It is good to understand proper grip and shooting fundamentals BEFORE purchasing a firearm. Many CPL classes take this into account and will help you find the things you DON'T like so when you purchase, you can focus on the things you DO like. Staff are trained to help you find something that is managable for you and you are able to properly reach all of the controls on the firearm. Phoenix Rising offers an opportunity to handle or use MANY different handguns. We feel the more knowledge you have, the better equipped you will be to make educated decisions.
What attorneys do you recommend for firearm related issues?
Phoenix Rising Firearm Academy frequently works with and uses two very good firearm attorneys. One specializes in Civil Firearm Rights and the other specializes in Criminal Firearm Rights. Both are extremely active in the firearm community and come highly recommended.
Purchasing a firearm in Michigan from an FFL: Simply choose the firearm you want. The FFL will have you fill out the ATF form 4473. Be sure to read all questions thoroughly and answer honestly, as this is a legal document.
If I live in Michigan, How do I buy a gun from another state?
All purchases made in a state you do not reside in must be shipped to an FFL in your state. You cannot purchase a firearm out of state and just bring it back home with you. The seller must ship it to a licensed firearm dealer in your state.
Do I need a permit to buy a gun?
In the state of Michigan, there are a few ways 1. If you are a CPL holder doing a private purchase, your CPL serves as the necessary background check. Simply fill out the RI-060 form with the seller and follow the instructions on the form. 2. If you are NOT a CPL holder and you wish to do a private sale, you must first obtain a pistol purchase permit from your local law enforcement entity. The permit is good for 30 days. Simply follow the instructions on the form. 3. If you wish to purchase a firearm from a gun store/private FFL, the dealer you are purchasing from will run a NICS check at the time of purchase. 4. If you wish to purchase a firearm at a gun show, the dealer MUST run a NICS check at the time of purchase and complete the necessary form.
NO CPL is needed to purchase a firearm! These laws can all be found in MCL 28.422
Where do I get a gun permit?
You can obtain a pistol purchase permit from your local police or sheriff's office.
How do I sell a gun?
If you are not an ffl and you are doing a private sale, you must verify the purchaser has a pistol purchase permit issued by law enforcement or a Concealed Pistol License. If the buyer has a Pistol Purchase Permit, make sure the date is valid and follow instruction on the form. If the purchaser has a Concealed Pistol License, download and fill out an RI-060 form. Follow the instructions on the form.
How do I legally transport a pistol in Michigan if I don't have a CPL?
MCL 750.231a (d) To a person while transporting a pistol for a lawful purpose that is licensed by the owner or occupant of the motor vehicle in compliance with section 2 of 1927 PA 372, MCL 28.422, and the pistol is unloaded in a closed case designed for the storage of firearms in the trunk of the vehicle. (e) To a person while transporting a pistol for a lawful purpose that is licensed by the owner or occupant of the motor vehicle in compliance with section 2 of 1927 PA 372, MCL 28.422, and the pistol is unloaded in a closed case designed for the storage of firearms in a vehicle that does not have a trunk and is not readily accessible to the occupants of the vehicle.
Can I wear a mask while I'm carrying my gun?
Yes. MCL 750.396 A person who intentionally conceals his or her identity by wearing a mask or other device covering his or her face for the purpose of facilitating the commission of a crime is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.
Can I carry another person's pistol if I have a CPL?
Yes. You may carry another person's lawfully obtained pistol with permission from the owner. Further, there is no law that limits the number of pistols you may be in possession of. 28.422
Can I carry my pistol in my car?
If you have a valid Concealed Pistol License, yes. If you DO NOT have a valid Concealed Pistol License, no. This would be a five year felony if caught.
Can I open carry without a CPL?
Yes, if you follow Michigan Laws. We STRONGLY recommend visiting www.miopencarry.org to learn open carry laws and fully understand them BEFORE attempting to open carry.
If I have a CPL, do I have to conceal my firearm?
No. There is NO LAW that states you must conceal with a CPL. In fact, there are places you can ONLY open carry WITH a CPL.
Can I carry my gun in another state if I have a Michigan CPL?
Yes. This is called reciprocity. It will vary from state-to-state. We recommend downloading the "CCW" app from either google play or the apple store. It seems to have the most up-to-date reciprocity laws. Please remember to follow the laws for the STATE YOU ARE IN. Reciprocity means the state honors the Michigan Concealed Pistol License, but you must follow THAT STATE'S LAWS while you are in any reciprocal state. You are expected to know and understand the laws for the state you are in.
If I reside in Michigan, can I conceal with an out-of-state-permit?
No. Michigan requires all residents to have a Michigan Concealed Pistol License in order to conceal a pistol or have a pistol in your vehicle (other than lawful transport mode).
Can I carry on United States Post Office property?
No. Post office property is a gun-free zone.
Can I carry in a Michigan state park, city park, township park, village park?
Yes. All Local units of government must follow state law when it comes to the carry of a firearm on government property. For more information, please see MCL 128.1102 (preemption).
Can I carry in Michigan state buildings?
Yes. Again, government property must follow state firearm law. The only current exception to this is inside of the State Capitol in Lansing. Open carry is prohibited at this time.
Note: Phoenix Rising Firearm Academy staff are not attorneys and nothing we say is legal advice. If you want true legal advice, please contact one of the attorneys listed.
Thank you for visiting Phoenix Rising Firearm Academy L.L.C. Sales for hosted instructors are controlled by the hosted instructor(s) and may be non-refundable. Students must reach out in writing and we will communicate with the instructor on a case-by-case basis. Individual policy can be found in the course description of these special classes.
36500 Ford Rd Suite 348, Westland, MI 48185 Servicing many locations in Southeast Michigan