Sunday, March 15, 2009

Michigan Concealed Pistol License: How A Bad Address Can Lead To A Revocation

Information on how to get a state of Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL) is available from a variety of sources, including within the actual CPL application. However, there is virtually no info available anywhere that details how a licensee can keep his CPL from being suspended or revoked.

As a consequence, many CPL licensees are shocked when they discover that their permit is no longer active. As of February 2009, according to info available on the Michigan State Police web site 2,409 CPLs were suspended and another 919 CPLs were revoked this year. Not all of the CPL revocations were justified.

The requirements to be issued a Michigan CPL are very stringent. As a consequence, every person that desires to be issued one are not statutorily eligible. Public Act 381 of 2000, explicitly states that the some of the aims of the statute is to:
...prevent criminals and other violent individuals from obtaining a license to carry a concealed pistol, to allow law abiding residents to obtain a license to carry a concealed pistol...

Accordingly, the state of Michigan expects its CPL licensees to act lawfully. Thus, if a CPL licensee should ever be charged with either a felony or a specified misdemeanor listed in the statute, the issuing County Gun Board shall suspend the licensee's CPL until the charges have been resolved or officially dispositioned. The County Gun Board has a duty to notify the licensee of the suspension by certified mail.

Although the statute does not explicitly require that CPL licensees keep their address of record on file with the County Gun Boards current, the County Gun Boards may not utilize all of the resources at its disposal to locate a licensee for proper notification.

Thus, even though the statute explicitly states that CPL applications are official documents that are to be maintained and stored by the County Gun Boards, the County Gun Board may elect not to go through the effort of contacting listed references on the CPL licensee's application. Furthermore, the County Gun Boards may not elect to consult the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN) system in an effort to contact a licensee.

The lack of effort, on the behalf of some County Gun Boards, could lead to a CPL licensee not receiving an official notification of a permit suspension if he had changed his address of record after receiving licensure. Currently, CPLs are valid upon issuance for a five year time period. It is no surprise that many people subsequently change residences before their CPL needs to be renewed.

The statute and other state of Michigan resources do a decent job of informing licensees of the fact that if they move to another county while licensed that they are to renew their CPLs in their county of residence. Almost no info published anywhere tells licensees to keep their address of record current with their County Gun Boards, as most people do with their state of Michigan Drivers Licenses.

Some County Gun Boards are "sensitive" when CPL licensees do not show up for a hearing, even though the Gun Board didn't do a thorough effort to provide notice. So, depending on the charges and if the licensee also "no shows," some County Gun Boards vote to revoke the licensee's permit. Of course this action violates the licensee's right to due process, but it happens.

Once a CPL is revoked, the process for reinstatement is for the ex-licensee to reapply for a CPL, if he is still eligible for licensure after the charges have been dispositioned. Alternatively, if a CPL licensee receives a notice of suspension, he should attend the hearing with his attorney and demonstrate that he wishes to still be licensed. The County Gun Board will take physical possession of the CPL, if it is available, and suspend licensee's CPL.

Always keep your address of record current with the County Gun Board.

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