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In 2023, Michigan expanded its handgun permit to purchase law to all firearms. When the law goes into effect in early 2024, it will require a firearm purchaser to have either a valid purchase license or a license to carry a concealed handgun.1 See the Michigan Concealed Weapons Permitting section for information about concealed handgun licenses. An individual purchasing a long gun who has a background check performed on the individual by a federally licensed firearms dealer not more than 5 days before the purchase is exempt from the permit requirement.

Michigan law requires local law enforcement officials2 to issue purchase licenses “with due speed and diligence” to qualified applicants, unless they have probable cause to believe that the applicant would be a threat to himself or herself or to other individuals, or would commit a criminal offense with the handgun.3 The criteria for qualifying for a handgun purchase license are outlined in the Michigan Firearm Prohibitions section.

Applications for purchase licenses must be signed by the applicant under oath upon forms provided by the director of the Department of State Police.4 Such licenses must be executed in triplicate upon forms provided by the director and signed by the licensing authority.5 Three copies of the license must then be delivered to the applicant by the licensing authority.6 A license is void unless used within 30 days after the date it is issued.7

If an individual purchases or otherwise acquires a firearm, the seller must fill out the license forms describing the firearm, together with the date of sale or acquisition, and sign their name indicating that the firearm was sold to or otherwise acquired by the purchaser.8 The purchaser shall also sign their name indicating the purchase or other acquisition of the pistol from the seller.9 The seller shall retain a copy and provide the purchaser with a copy of the license.

If the firearm is a handgun, the seller must return one copy to the licensing authority within 10 days after the date the handgun is purchased or acquired.10 Not later than 10 days after receiving the license copy from the seller, the licensing authority must electronically enter the information into the handgun entry database as required by the department of state police.11

See the Retention of Sales/Background Checks Records in Michigan section for further information.


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  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.422, 28.422a.[]
  2. I.e., the commissioner or chief of police of a city, township, or village police department, or the sheriff in the parts of a county not included within a city, township, or village having an organized police department, or their duly authorized deputies. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.422(3).[]
  3. Id.[]
  4. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.422(4).[]
  5. Id.[]
  6. Id.[]
  7. Id.[]
  8. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.422(5).[]
  9. Id.[]
  10. Id.[]
  11. Id.[]