Wednesday, May 15, 2013

FAQ: Can I Register My Recently Modified 28 Inch Rifle As A Handgun In Michigan?

Ask The Michigan Firearms Instructor
Q: Rick, I have a rifle that has been modified with a folding stock. This has made it 28" folded up. Is this now a pistol, and if so how do I go about to register it?

A: As of January 1rst of this year (2013) the definition of a pistol changed from 30 inches down to 26 inches. As such, your modified firearm of 28 inches does not qualify to be registered as a pistol. Owners of firearms, between 26 inches and 30 inches, that were already registered as pistols prior to January 1rst, 2013 were grandfathered in the law.

I am not aware of the modifications that you made to your rifle, but there are a few additional things about Michigan law that you need to know:

MCL 750.222 - (i) "Short-barreled shotgun" means a shotgun having 1 or more barrels less than 18 inches in length or a weapon made from a shotgun, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if the weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

MCL 750.222 - (k) "Short-barreled rifle" means a rifle having 1 or more barrels less than 16 inches in length or a weapon made from a rifle, whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise, if the weapon as modified has an overall length of less than 26 inches.

MCL 750.224b - (1) A person shall not manufacture, sell, offer for sale, or possess a short-barreled shotgun or a short-barreled rifle.

(2) A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $2,500.00, or both.

(3) This section does not apply to the sale, offering for sale, or possession of a short-barreled rifle or a short-barreled shotgun which the secretary of the treasury of the United States of America, or his or her delegate, under 26 USC, sections 5801 through 5872, or 18 USC, sections 921 through 928, has found to be a curio, relic, antique, museum piece, or collector's item not likely to be used as a weapon, but only if the person selling, offering for sale or possessing the firearm has also fully complied with section 2 or 2a of 1927 PA 372, MCL 28.422 and 28.422a.

You are strongly encouraged to not only conduct your own independent research but to also consult with a competent and qualified attorney before acting upon any information in this article. Laws covering self-defense, lethal force, firearms, and the Michigan Concealed Pistol License and their enforcement are always subject to change due to laws being amended, politics conducted in the Prosecutor's Office, and election results at all levels of government. Ignorance of the law, legally speaking, is not a valid excuse for running afoul of it. The penalties and fines imposed upon violators of firearms related offenses are stiff and severe.

About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.

Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Guns Digest, Tactical-Life, The Truth About Guns, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, The Detroit Examiner, WJLB, WGPR, and the UrbanShooterPodcast.

For more info about free shooting lessons for women and Michigan CCW Classes, please contact:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Phone: 313.733.74

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