CPL and Use of Force

Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL)

If you are thinking about getting a CPL (Concealed Pistol License), or have one already, there are strict laws that still must be followed. While it allows you to carry a concealed pistol, it certainly does not exempt you from the laws. This page will explain many of the laws in place for CPL holders, many of which people were unaware of. While this page will prove a lot of useful information regarding the most common concern/questions of having a CPL and the use of deadly/non-deadly force, we encourage you to also read the various statutes that have been put in place.

Where cant I carry my pistol, even if I have a CPL?

All concealed pistol licenses issued after July 1, 2001, are unrestricted. However, licensees are prohibited from carrying a pistol in the following places:

  • A school or school property except that a parent or legal guardian of a student of the school is not precluded from carrying a concealed pistol while in a vehicle on school property if he or she is dropping the student off at the school or picking up the child from the school.
  • A private or public childcare center or daycare center
  • A sports arena or stadium, or entertainment facility that holds 2,500 people or more
  • A bar or tavern licensed under the Michigan liquor control code of 1998 where the primary source of income of the business is the sale of alcoholic liquor
  • Any property owned by a religious institution
  • A hospital
  • A dorm or classroom of a college, community college, or university
  • Premises does not include parking areas of the above places
  • Pistol free zones do not apply to any of the following:
  • A licensee who is a retired police officer or retired law enforcement officer
  • An individual who is licensed as a private investigator or private detective under the private detective license Act, 1965 PA 285, MCL 338.821 to 338.851.

If I get pulled over by a police officer, what should I do?

  • An individual licensed to carry a concealed pistol who is stopped by a police officer (traffic stops or otherwise) shall immediately disclose to the police officer that he or she is carrying a concealed pistol either on their person or in their motor vehicle.
  • The officer likely knows you have a CPL before approaching the vehicle, so to be safe, if you are not carrying a pistol on your person at that time, but have a CPL, tell the officer as such.
  • Failure to disclose this information to a police officer carries the following penalties:
  • First offense = State Civil Infraction – $500 fine and 6-month CCW license suspension.
  • Second offense = State Civil Infraction – $1000 fine and CCW license revocation.
  • Forgetting to tell the officer that you have a weapon on you is no excuse.

Do I need to have my CPL on me when I am pulled over by a Police Officer?

  • An individual licensed to carry a concealed pistol shall have the license in his or her possession at all times he or she is carrying a concealed pistol.
  • Failure to possess CCW license when carrying a concealed pistol is a State Civil Infraction and a $100.00 fine.
  • Upon request, an individual licensed to carry a concealed pistol shall show both of the following to a police officer: His or her license to carry a concealed pistol AND His or her driver license or personal identification card.
  • Failure to show CCW license and Michigan driver license or Michigan personal identification card when carrying a concealed pistol is a State Civil Infraction and $100.00 fine.

What will happen if I don’t follow what is required when I come into contact with an officer, as discussed above?

  • A pistol carried in violation is to immediate seizure by a police officer.
  • If a weapon is seized for failure to possess a CCW license while carrying a concealed pistol:
  • Individual has 45 days in which to display their license to carry a concealed pistol to the law enforcement agency that seized the pistol and the pistol shall be returned.
  • If the individual does not display their license to carry a concealed pistol within 45 days the pistol is subject to forfeiture.

Carrying a pistol under the influence of alcohol or drugs

  • An individual licensed to carry a concealed pistol shall not possess a concealed pistol on their person or motor vehicle while they have any bodily alcohol content (.02 bodily alcohol content [BAC] or above) or a controlled substance.
  • Acceptance of a concealed pistol license constitutes implied consent to submit to a chemical test for violations of this law.
  • A police officer who has probable cause to believe an individual is carrying a concealed pistol and has consumed alcohol may require a chemical test of breath, blood, or urine.
  • An individual carrying a concealed pistol with any BAC is subject to immediate seizure of their pistol and the following penalties:
  • BAC of .02 – .07 = State civil infraction, $100 fine, and up to 1-year CCW license revocation.
  • BAC of .08 – .09 = 93-day misdemeanor, $100 fine, and up to 3-year CCW license revocation.
  • BAC of .10 or more = 93-day misdemeanor, $100 fine, and permanent CCW license revocation.
  • This does not prohibit an individual licensed under this act to carry a concealed pistol who has any bodily alcohol content from transporting that pistol in the locked trunk of his or her motor vehicle or another motor vehicle in which he or she is a passenger or, if the vehicle does not have a trunk, from transporting that pistol unloaded in a locked compartment or container that is separated from the ammunition for that pistol or on a vessel if the pistol is transported unloaded in a locked compartment or container that is separated from the ammunition for that pistol.
  • However, if you are driving and plan on consuming alcohol, be smart and leave your pistol at home before going out.

This page was meant to provide you with an overview of some important topics regarding not only the laws of CPL but also some of the most common questions about when someone is justified to use deadly force, whether it be in self-defense or during the robbery of your home. It is very important to not simply rely on this page, but also take the time to reads the laws for yourself in great detail.


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