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Know the Laws: Michigan

UPDATED August 16, 2016

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WomensLaw.org strongly recommends that you get help from an organization in your area for specific advice.  To find an agency, please go to the MI Where to Find Help page.

Basic Info

back to topI am a victim of domestic violence and the abuser has a gun. Is that legal?

It depends.  If you have a PPO against the abuser, or if the abuser has been convicted of a felony or of a domestic violence misdemeanor, then federal law states that it is illegal for the abuser to buy, own or have a gun in his/her possession.*

In addition, Michigan state law says that a person cannot have a license to carry a concealed pistol if s/he:

  • is under age 21;
  • is not a US citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • is subject to a court order regarding mental illness or competency (see statute, section (7)(d) for more information);
  • has been convicted of a felony;
  • within the past 3 or 8 years (depending on the crime), s/he has been convicted of certain misdemeanors (or a charge for a misdemeanor violation is pending against the applicant in any state) including various motor vehicle-related crimes such as DUI, stalking, domestic assault, assault, various crimes related to child abuse, various sexual crimes, firearm-related offenses, larceny, embezzlement, drug or alcohol-related misdemeanors and more; (Note: this is not a complete list of crimes - see the law on our MI Statutes, section (7)(h) and (7)(i) for the complete list);
  • is subject to an active PPO;
  • has been dishonorably discharged from the armed forces;
  • has been subject to an order of involuntary commitment in a mental health center or is under an order of legal incapacity in any state;
  • is currently diagnosed with a mental illness that includes an assessment that the individual presents a danger to himself/herself or others (regardless of whether or not s/he is receiving treatment for the mental illness);
  • has been acquitted of a crime by reason of insanity or mental illness; or
  • the licensing board believes that it would be otherwise harmful to the safety of the applicant or others for the applicant to possess a concealed pistol based on clear and convincing evidence of repeated violations of this law, crimes, personal protection orders or injunctions, police reports or other clear and convincing evidence of the actions/ statements of the applicant.** 

Note: There are certain requirements that your PPO must meet for it to qualify under federal law. See I have a PPO against the abuser. Can s/he keep a gun or buy a new gun? to read more about what those requirements are.

If you are not sure if the abuser has been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, see What crimes are considered domestic violence misdemeanors?  To read the definition of a felony, see What is the definition of a felony?

* 18 USC § 922(g)(8),(9)
** M.C.L.A. § 28.425b(7)

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