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Michigan law requires the buyer of a handgun to have either a handgun purchase license or a license to carry a concealed handgun if the seller is not a federally licensed dealer.1 Prospective handgun purchase and concealed handgun licensees are subject to background checks as part of the licensing process. See the Michigan Background Checks and Michigan Licensing of Gun Owners/Purchasers, and Michigan Concealed Weapons Permitting sections for more detail.

Transfers of rifles and shotguns by private sellers (individuals not licensed as firearms dealers) are not subject to background checks in Michigan.

For laws requiring sellers and buyers to create records of firearm sales and report such sales to law enforcement, see the Retention of Sales / Background Check Records in Michigan section.

In addition, a “seller”2 shall not knowingly sell a firearm or ammunition to a person:

  • Under indictment for a felony; or
  •  Prohibited from possessing, using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving, or distributing a firearm under Michigan law.3

State law criminalizes the accepting, or offering or displaying for resale, of a handgun by any pawnbroker or second-hand or junk dealer.4

See the Michigan Minimum Age to Purchase / Possess Firearms section for age restrictions.


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  1. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 28.422a.[]
  2. “Seller” is defined as “a person who sells, furnishes, loans, or gives a [handgun] to another person.” Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.222(g).[]
  3. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.223(3)(a),(b).[]
  4. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 750.229.[]