Friday, January 22, 2010

Are You Legally Armed But Totally Clueless About Michigan Firearm Law?

I meet a lot of people who, upon discovering that I am a Firearms Trainer, voluntarily disclose that they have a state of Michigan Concealed Pistol License (CPL). In many of these discussions it becomes readily apparent to me that quite a few of them are totally clueless about Michigan Firearm Law.

As a practical matter, I never ask to see their permits but I surmise that a few of them don't have a CPL and that the others do but did not take a bona fide Basic Pistol Safety Training Class. Since many folks do not research the legal requirements for a "good" class before getting trained, it is possible that many of these clueless but licensed folks don't know that they are ignorant of the law.

This article will present legal questions that a properly trained CPL licensee should know:

- Do you know exactly under what circumstances in which lethal force can be used?

- Do you know if you have a duty to retreat, where possible, before using lethal force?

- Do you know if having a CPL gives you permission to kill someone if they are trying to attack you?

- Do you know if you can legally shoot someone for merely attempting to break into your home?

- Do you know if you can shoot an intruder in your home in his back?

- Do you know if you can legally shoot someone for merely trying to steal your car?

- Do you know the places in the state of Michigan where you can't legally carry a concealed handgun with only a restricted CPL?

- Do you know if you can legally carry a concealed handgun, with a restricted CPL, in a "house of worship?"

- Do you know if you can legally defend a complete stranger from a violent attack?

- Do you know what a CPL licensee must do when stopped by a law enforcement officer?

- Do you know how to act when law enforcement officers arrive in the aftermath of a shooting incident in which you were involved?

- Do you know if you are responsible for a bullet after it hits an assailant who was attacking you?

- Do you know if you can legally issue a warning shot?

- Do you know how much time you have to report a missing or stolen handgun?

- Do you know if you can carry your handgun in another state?

If you don't know with absolute certainty the answers to the aforementioned questions, you are clueless about Michigan Firearm Law. As a consequence, our community will be less safe until you either take a bona fide gun safety class or stop carrying a handgun. If you don't do either, you could very easily find yourself facing a murder charge and a civil wrongful death lawsuit.

Do the right thing.

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