Sunday, September 21, 2008

Michigan CPL Law Changes - Effective January 2009

Every responsible gun owner must stay abreast of all law changes that are made with respect to firearms. No other facet of our society is more regulated than the purchase, usage, possession, carrying, and transportation of guns. One small infraction, if uncovered and prosecuted, can result in a criminal prosecution and conviction, the imposition of a fine, and a suspension or revocation of a Concealed Pistol License (CPL).

There are already more than 20,000 gun laws on the books currently in this country with no end in sight. Politicians, desiring to appease voters who have voluntarily chosen not to exercise their Second Amendment and have no qualms about attacking the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens, are the culprits. Consequently, gun owners must be cognizant of the laws and any proposed changes to them - if only to not accidentally run afoul of them. Hopefully, in the future as more Michigan residents become gun owners and CPL Licensees, the politicians will stop the continual assault upon our Second Amendment rights.

As a firearms trainer, I am constantly asked a variety questions about Michigan's firearms laws. Occasionally, I visit the Michigan Legislature's web site to conduct my research. On one such research assignment, I was not totally surprised to see that some changes in Michigan's firearms laws are going to be taking effect in January of 2009.

For your reference, as a subscriber of my Alumni Newsletter, a reader of my Blogger blog, or a follower of my business (Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit), I am providing you with my non-legal opinion of the aforementioned law changes. Please recall that I am not a lawyer, so my interpretations are going to be exactly worth you paid exactly what you paid for them - nothing. I have included references so that you can view the statutes for yourself and draw your own conclusions. If things are still not clear, I invite you to consult with a knowledgable attorney who practices in this area.

The first change that jumps out at me is that the description of Section 28.422 is currently listed as "License to purchase, carry, or transport pistol; issuance; qualifications; applications; sale of pistol; exemptions; basic pistol safety brochure; forging application; implementation during business hours." The description of Section 28.422.amended, scheduled for enactment in January 2009 is listed as "License to purchase, carry, possess, or transport pistol; issuance; qualifications; applications; sale of pistol; exemptions; basic pistol safety brochure; forging application; implementation during business hours."

The change, in the law, is the inclusion of the word "possess" in the both description and in the area of the law specified. This section of the law concerns itself with the safety inspection/gun registration process. Be advised that you are required to have a pistol safety inspected if you possess it. Thus, if a person without a CPL wants to take possession of a pistol to conduct an activity, like take a gun safety class, the law requires them to register it.

A CPL Licensee, however, can still take possession of another person's pistol without getting the pistol safety inspected as per the provisions of either 28.432 or 28.432.amended. Section 12-1(i) states, "An individual carrying, possessing, using, or transporting a pistol belonging to another individual, if the other individual's possession of the pistol is authorized by law and the individual carrying, possessing, using, or transporting the pistol has obtained a license under section 5b to carry a concealed pistol or is exempt from licensure as provided in section 12a."

The second ensuing change in the CPL law that I noticed, currently documented in Section 28.422a, concerns the process by which CPL Licensees are allowed to purchase pistols. As you probably already know, CPL licensees are not required to acquire "Ten Day Purchase Permits" before they buy a pistol from a seller. Instead, they must currently follow a simplified process.

Under the current statute, sellers of handguns must complete a Pistol Sales Record Form (PSRF) in triplicate. The completed form must include both the CPL Licensee's (the buyer) License Number and the CPL Licensee's (the buyer) signature on each of the three copies. The handgun seller keeps one copy of the PSRF, the CPL purchaser gets a copy, and the seller must forward the original copy to the Michigan State Police.

Under the new law, Section 28.422a.amended, slated to go into effect in January 2009, the process has been enhanced. The handgun seller will now complete a PSRF in quadriplicate. As before under the current statute, the form will contain both the buyer's CPL Number and the buyer's signature. The seller will keep one copy and the buyer will receive three copies.

The buyer will then have ten (10 days) to forward two copies of the completed PSRF to his prevailing law enforcement agency (PLEA). A purchaser who fails to follow this process can be found guilty of a state civil infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $250, and can expect to have this infraction reported to both the MSP and his local county gun board for further sanctions.

Furthermore, the purchaser of the handgun is expected to keep a copy of the PSRF/registration in his posession while he is carrying, possessing, or transporting the handgun in question for thirty (30 days) to allow law enforcement enough time to enter the handgun's information into the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) database.

The third change in the law that I noticed occurs within Section 28.425f. This part of the law concerns itself with police stops. The law, regarding the conduct of CPL Licensees and their duty to inform the police of their status, remains unchanged. However, the definition of "peace officer" was expanded to include motor carrier officers and security officers employed by the state. If you have already taken a valid CPL Class, you already know what you are supposed to do.

Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse for failing to comply with it. You have my permission to distribute this notice to any and all CPL Licensees who may benefit from reading it. No warranties are given as to the analysis. Read the law for yourself and discuss it with your attorney. Also, make sure that you give me credit for this notice if you publicly post it - At a minimum, quote me as the author and link this notice to my website.
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