Child Access Prevention
In 2023, Michigan enacted a law1 that makes adults criminally liable for storing or leaving a firearm unattended on premises under the individual’s control, and who knows or reasonably should know that a minor is, or is likely to be, present on the premises, if the minor obtains the firearm and
- Possesses or exhibits the firearm in a public place; or
- Possesses or exhibits the firearm in the presence of another person in a careless, reckless, or threatening manner.
The gun owner is only liable, however, if one of those acts happened and the gun owner did not:
- Store the firearm in a locked box or container; or
- Keep the firearm unloaded and locked with a locking device that is properly engaged to render the firearm inoperable by any individual other than the owner or an authorized user.
A gun owner may also store their firearm in their locked vehicle, with the firearm stored in a locked box or container in that vehicle, or kept unloaded and locked with a locking device that is properly engaged to render the firearm inoperable by any individual other than the owner or an authorized user.
The new child access prevention law goes into effect in 2024.
See Gun Dealers in Michigan for requirements that dealers post child safety notices.
Michigan has no law that affirmatively requires unattended firearms to be stored in a certain way.
Michigan does prohibit a federally licensed firearms dealer from selling a firearm unless the sale includes a commercially available:
- Trigger lock or other device designed to disable and prevent the discharge of the firearm; or
- Gun case or storage container that can be secured to prevent unauthorized access to the firearm.1
This law does not apply to law enforcement, any person who can establish that they have already purchased a qualifying trigger lock or gun case, or the sale of antique firearms.2
Michigan does not require firearm owners to lock their weapons, although administrative regulations may apply in certain locations.
Michigan also provides criminal liability for a parent of any child under age 18 whose child violates a state firearm-related law while on school property or in a school vehicle, if the parent had custody of the child and: 1) knew the child would commit the violation; or 2) acted to further the violation.2
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- Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.429.
- Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.235a. Michigan also penalizes any person who, because of carelessness, recklessness or negligence, but not willful or wanton conduct, causes or allows any firearm under his or her immediate control to be discharged and kill or injure another person. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 752.861. This law, however, does not seem to be used to hold individuals responsible for failing to secure a gun under their immediate control if it is accessed by a minor.