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Michigan generally restricts people from carrying or transporting handguns, either concealed or unconcealed, in vehicles,1 except if they fall into one of the following categories:

1) concealed handgun licensees;

2) individuals transporting a handgun for a lawful purpose, if the handgun is licensed to the owner or occupant of the motor vehicle, or an antique, and the handgun is kept unloaded in a closed case designed for firearm storage in the trunk of the vehicle (or if the vehicle does not have a trunk, in a location that is not readily accessible to the vehicle’s occupants); and

(3) authorized agents of a person licensed to manufacture firearms pursuant to the “regular and ordinary” transportation of handguns as merchandise.2

Generally, a person may not transport or have in their possession a firearm in or upon a vehicle, unless the firearm is unloaded and the gun is enclosed in a case, unloaded and carried in the trunk of a vehicle, or unloaded in a motorized boat.3

In addition, people are generally restricted from carrying or transporting a firearm while in any area frequented by wild animals unless the person has a license to carry a concealed handgun in their possession or is otherwise exempt from the licensing requirement.4

Michigan law also provides that a person may carry, transport, or possess a firearm without a hunting license if the firearm is unloaded, 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.5 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.6

A person may also carry or possess an unloaded weapon at any time if the person is traveling to or from or participating in a historical reenactment.7

Michigan law generally prohibits people from operating “off-road vehicles” while transporting a firearm on the vehicle unless the firearm is unloaded and securely encased, or equipped with and made inoperative by a manufactured key-locked trigger housing mechanism.8 Similarly, no person shall operate a snowmobile while transporting a firearm unless the gun in unloaded in both barrel and magazine and securely encased.9

  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.227(2).[]
  2. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.231a(1).[]
  3. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 324.40111(2).[]
  4. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 324.43510. 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. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 324.43510(2).[]
  5. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 324.43513(1). Michigan law defines “unloaded” for these purposes to mean that the firearm “does not have ammunition in the barrel, chamber, cylinder, clip, or magazine when the barrel, chamber, cylinder, clip, or magazine is part of or attached to the firearm.” Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 324.43513(5)(b).[]
  6. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 324.43513(2).[]
  7. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 324.43513(4).[]
  8. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 324.81133(j).[]
  9. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 324.82126(1)(f).[]