Sunday, November 15, 2015

Major Changes To Michigan Concealed Carry in 2015

We at Ann Arbor Arms would like to share with you an update from Gary C. Bengtson, a practicing firearms attorney who you can find teaching the legal portion at some of our monthly CPL classes. For the most updated legal information regarding Michigan Firearms Law, please visit the Michigan State Police website.


By: Gary C. Bengtson (

November 6, 2015

Various public acts of 2015 effectuated a major revision of Michigan’s concealed carry statute.  Most the changes are effective December 1, 2015, and they primarily modify the “behind-the-scenes” procedure for government processing of a concealed pistol license application, although significant substantive changes were made in certain concealed carry provisions, as outlined below.  It is important for instructors, applicants and licensees to become familiar with these changes, because each of these groups is affected to one degree or another by these modifications to the law. 

The biggest change concerns the county concealed weapon licensing boards.  Effective December 1, 2015, all county concealed weapon licensing boards were eliminated.  The Michigan State Police are now tasked with determination of applicant eligibility for concealed carry and the county clerks are directly responsible for issuing and administrating licenses. 

The cost of applying is now $100.00.  The cost of renewal is $115.00.

Below is a list of the most relevant changes to Michigan’s concealed carry statute.  This is not an exhaustive list of all changes, and if you have specific questions about how the amended law affects you, it is advised that you review the law and / or consult with an attorney.


Any application for restoration of firearms rights pursuant to MCL 750.224f now goes to the circuit court in the county where you reside. 

The Michigan State Police shall provide an electronic format (typically CD-ROM) compilation of firearms laws and forms for appeal of license denial, and county clerks shall distribute these to applicants.

Only one submitted application for a concealed pistol license may be made per year.

If the Secretary of State maintains a digitized photograph of applicant (from driver’s license records), no photograph need be submitted with application but if the Secretary of State has no digitized photo of applicant, then a passport quality photo must be submitted.  By 2018, the Michigan State Police shall directly provide for renewal of a concealed pistol license by mail or online.


There are no significant changes to prohibited premises for concealed carry or to penalties for illegal carry in those prohibited areas.


The county clerk must now notify a licensee when their concealed pistol license is getting close to expiration, no more than 6 months and no less than 3 months before expiration.  Renewal is allowable if the license is not expired or for one year after expiration of the license.  If an individual applies for renewal prior to expiration, the expiration date is extended until renewal or disqualification.  A renewal applicant must still certify they’ve had 3 hours of review time and 1 hour of range time within the preceding six months.


The County Clerk shall issue emergency concealed carry licenses to applicants issued a personal protection order or if the county sheriff determines by clear and convincing evidence the safety of an applicant or applicant’s family is endangered by inability to acquire immediate licensure.  Clear and convincing evidence includes an application for a personal protection order not yet issued, other records or video / audio evidence etc.  An applicant for an emergency license must be eligible for a license pursuant to a criminal background check.  A licensee issued an emergency license must complete a training course within 10 business days of applying for the emergency license and must also apply for a regular license within 10 days.  The emergency license is valid for 45 days.  The clerk may provide exemption from premises restrictions if acceptable proof is provided of qualification for the exemption.  No more than one emergency license may be granted every 5 years.  Residency requirement of 6 months may be waived for emergency license. 


Before amendment, a CPL license could not issue to someone who was the subject of a personal protection order.  Now, a license cannot issue to someone who is the subject of a personal protection order if that order includes a restriction that the application is not allowed to purchase or possess a firearm.

A license may not issue to an applicant with a diagnosis of a mental illness that includes an assessment that the individual presents a danger to himself or herself or to another at the time the application is made, regardless of whether he or she is receiving treatment for that illness.  Prior to amendment, a mere diagnosis without a finding of danger to self or others was automatically disqualifying.

There are some relatively significant modifications to the list of temporarily disqualifying 8 year and 3 year misdemeanors.  Please review the law or talk to an attorney if you have questions about these changes, which are too numerous to list here.

The “safety disqualification” has been eliminated.  Prior to amendment, the county concealed weapon licensing boards had discretion to deny a license to an applicant if there was clear and convincing evidence the applicant was a danger to himself or to others (where the applicant would otherwise qualify).  With the elimination of the concealed weapon licensing boards, this discretion has also been eliminated.  Now, either an applicant qualifies or does not qualify pursuant to the criminal or mental health history of the applicant.

The county clerk gives an applicant a receipt upon application for a license.  If a license or notice of statutory disqualification is not provided within 45 days of fingerprinting, the receipt itself shall serve as a concealed pistol license when carried with qualifying identification.  This receipt is valid as a concealed pistol license until the formal license or a statutory disqualification is issued.  The receipt is required to have this language on the receipt.

Any disqualification notification sent by the county clerk must include each statutory disqualification, the source of the record used and the contact information for the source of the record and the right of appeal.


Qualifying training must be no more than 5 years old (before amendment there was no limitation written into the law).  Certificates must now have the name and telephone number of the instructor and the name and telephone number of the training organization (typically the NRA) and the instructor’s certification number along with any expiration date of certification.  The law no longer references “the 8 hour pistol safety course” so any course will qualify so long as it meets the requirements for the course, which remain unchanged.  Training must still be at least 8 hours in length.  An applicant can apply using any training certificate that does not meet the requirements of the law at the time of certification issuance if evidence is provided that demonstrates the certificate or training meets applicable requirements.  The amendment still contains the requirement that the certificate of completion state “This course complies with section 5j of 1927 PA 372”.


A blood alcohol level of .10 or higher alcohol shall equal revocation of the license.  If the blood alcohol is .08 to less than .10 the court shall (not may) suspend the license for 3 years (before amendment the statute stated not more than 3 years).  If the blood alcohol is .02 to less than .08 the court shall (not may) fine the licensee $100 (before amendment the statute stated not more than $100) and the court shall suspend the license for 1 year.  The language in this section cleans up any confusion regarding use of the words revoke and suspend in the prior law.

A refusal to submit to a breath test shall (not may) result in suspension for 6 months (the statute used to state, without specification, “suspend or revoke”).  In addition, and this is a big change, a refusal to take a breath test is a state civil infraction with a $100 fine.  Before amendment, a refusal just resulted in the loss of license privileges.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Top 10 Last Minute Gifts at Ann Arbor Arms

Top 10 Last Minute Gifts at Ann Arbor Arms

1. Ammunition
 Who couldn't use more ammo??  Always a great item to stock up on.
2. White River Knives - Michigan Made!
 From survival knives to fillet knives, extremely durable and made in Coopersville, MI!

3. Pelican Rifle Case
Heavy duty, waterproof, military style rifle and shotgun cases, each comes with a lifetime guarantee.
4. Soundgear Electronic Hearing Protection
Hearing is valuable, give it the care it needs.  Remarkable technology for protecting your ears.
5. Fenix Flashlight
Small or large, these flashlights are extremely durable and our PD-35 model shines up to 960 lumens bright!
6. Condor Rifle Bag
Fully padded for maximum protection for built-in extra storage.
7. Benchmade Knives - Made In The USA!
Whether you are using a Griptilian as a basic cutting tool or a professional grade rescue hook to perform a quick cut in an emergency situation, you can count on a Benchmade to get the job done.

8. Howard Leight Hearing Protection
Howard Leight is continually developing new designs, materials and technologies that take comfort and protection to the next level.
9. GPS Range Bag
 The GPS backpack-style range bag features padded walls and bottom to protect your firearms and ammunition while traveling to and from the range.
The bag features padded walls and bottom to protect firearms and ammo while traveling to and from the range. - See more at:
The bag features padded walls and bottom to protect firearms and ammo while traveling to and from the range. - See more at:
The bag features padded walls and bottom to protect firearms and ammo while traveling to and from the range. - See more at:
The bag features padded walls and bottom to protect firearms and ammo while traveling to and from the range. - See more at:
10. Ann Arbor Arms Gift Card
Always available for that person who "has everything!"

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Are You Prepared?

So many people ask me why I am prepping for the end of the world.  Well, I’m not.  And why would I?  No, I am prepping for the hard stuff; actual disasters in real life.  Disasters can be natural or man-made, large or small and last hours to months or years. I am neither a hoarder nor do I think the government is out to get me.  I have, however been subject to several long term electrical outages, home floods, damaging summer and winter storms and major health crises.  While I don’t want to experience civil unrest, I have been witness to it.
Here are some of the things I recommend.  Keep several gallon jugs of drinking water in a convenient location in your home.  I have made a “storm room” in my basement where I can relax in a comfortable chair and read a book if a tornado is trying to take the roof off my home.  I change out my water every six months to ensure that it is clean and fresh.
I keep a small pantry with about six to eight months of food.  I have canned foods that I buy at the grocery store.  I use these regularly and restock to keep them from expiring.  There are MREs selected specifically for what I would eat.  If you hate the food, don’t stock it.  Under the stress of a disaster your appetite may be compromised and you won’t eat stuff you don’t like.  I also have long term storage items such as Wise Foods in sealed buckets.  These contain packages of tasty casserole style meals that require only the addition of hot water.
Then there are my Aladdin Lamps purchased from Lehman’s Hardware in Kidron, Ohio.  They run on odorless fuel and provide not only bright white light, but can effectively heat a room.  Alongside the lamps are LED flashlights and spare batteries.  My other backups are GOAL ZERO solar chargers and lights. And, finally, candles and matches.
Whether I must shelter in place or evacuate, I have a 72 hour emergency kit, better known as a Bug-Out Bag (BOB).  This is a lightweight, durable Maxpedition backpack that contains items such as 550 paracord, energy bars, water filter straw, fire starter, knife, multi-tool, matches, solar-turbo weather radio, flashlight with extra batteries, first aid and hygiene items, rain poncho, Mylar blanket, nitrile gloves and N95 face mask, canteen, copies of ID and important personal papers and contacts, zip-lock bags, duct tape, extra socks and underclothes, cash in small change and bills.  These are but a few of the important items.  Your pack should weigh less than 25 pounds or only ¼ of your weight.
Keep in mind that in a medium to large scale disaster, neither the police, fire, nor rescue crews will be readily available to aid you.  Your local agencies may be stretched to the limit of their resources.  Larger government agencies such as FEMA are generally not immediately available.  I do not think it wise to rely solely on government agencies to be there when disaster strikes.  Your own preparations may save your life.
“Prepping” is not a new concept.  Our grandparents planted gardens, hunted and canned their produce, stocking up for the lean months ahead.  They made their own butter, soap, clothes and quilts.  They made do with their possessions and fixed what was broken.  Things were re-purposed or passed on to others to continue using.  They did not dispose of something because it was old.  They did not have all manner of electrical appliances.  They had storm cellars, root cellars and saved their meager earnings “for a rainy day.”  That lifestyle still makes sense today.  Our modern wantonly wasteful and increasingly dependent lifestyle cannot last.  “Prepping” will go on.

Donna Johnston
Ann Arbor Arms
Emergency Preparedness Instructor
Join our Emergency Preparedness Class Wednesday March 18th, 5-6:30pm, Cost: $25,Call us at (734) 531-6650 to save a seat!

Photo Courtesy of Ben Weatherston Photography

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

M855 "Green Tip Ammo" Ban Blog Post

Recently the ATF has decided that with the influx of AR pistol variants out there, they now need to ban M855 “green tip ammo.” This is based solely on the idea that it is an armor piercing ammunition and that constitutes a higher threat to law enforcement officers.  At best, this is flawed logic and at worst, outright stupidity. While we have an excellent relationship with the ATF agents we work with, it would appear that the higher up you go in the organization, the more it is run by individuals with no practical experience in the fields they are supposed to legislate.  With the exception of alcohol, because the only way someone could make a decision like this is if they were blindingly hammered on 90 proof moonshine, confiscated from the backwoods of Appalachia by some poor field agent who put their life on the line to obtain it.

First off, all rifle ammunition (or any necked cartridge for that matter) is inherently “armor piercing” against all modern soft armor. On even the highest soft armor rating, IIIA, the manufacturer clearly states it is only rated for .44 Magnum ammunition.  The production, use, or implementation of a pistol capable of firing rifle ammo does not magically make it armor piercing. The CZ 52 fires 7.62x25mm Soviet ammunition and has been defeating soft body armor for years before anyone even considered making an AR pistol or since the Five Seven came to the market. Even some high velocity .22 ammunition has been known to slip through vests. My point: armor piercing is a very subjective term.

Secondly, the M855 is not the superior defensive round for 5.56. When the US Military switched over to M855 from M193, they did so because it performed better against barricades and windshield glass. This took place at the cost of terminal performance. This was brought about by the Hague Convention which addressed the issue of weapons that may cause unnecessary suffering or indiscriminate effects. Basically, at a velocity of over 2500 feet per second, the M193 will tumble, yaw and fragment. This was a distress for someone in Washington and it was decided that we needed to adopt a more “humane” round. On a side note, I will go on to point out how unbelievably ridiculous this is, considering we never signed the accord from that particular convention.

Third, the worry that the higher incident of AR pistol builds and purchase is somehow a greater threat to law enforcement is outright laughable. It typically seems that criminals who intend on committing violent crime with a firearm do so by procuring the least expensive one they can find, as they most likely will not be holding onto it after said crime is committed. While AR pistols are not all that expensive in the grand scheme of things, they are not exactly the cheapest pistol out there. They are also not nearly as concealable as the ATF would like to make them appear either. Now while the ownership and staff of A3 do not advocate this, should you try to conceal an AR pistol and walk into your local public establishment, I don’t think it will go over very well for you.  At best you get a few questions.  At worst you get shot.

In conclusion I will say this: this is just one more instance of a branch of the government justifying its existence and trying to impose rules on us in the name of public safety. It is our responsibility to reach out to our legislators, who are OUR voices in Washington and have them oppose such attacks on our freedoms. If they fail in this, it is our duty to find someone who will listen to their constituents. Reach out to yours here: