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In The News

Thursday, December 2, 2021

If You Brought a Gun From Out of State - Some Critical Things For You to Know!

By Michael Nichols
Categories: Carry and Conceal

The 2nd amendment of The Constitution of the United States protects our right to bear arms. In Michigan, qualifying individuals can obtain a concealed pistol license (“cpl”). However, there are scenarios in which even an individual with a legally registered firearm and a valid cpl may find themselves in a situation which their rights are temporarily infringed upon by a law enforcement agency.

In a recent case, my client who lives out of state, visited Michigan and brought his firearm with him; he has a cpl issued by his home state. His conduct was perfectly legal in this regard: In opinion No. 7304 the Attorney General opined that individuals with a cpl issued by another state are exempt from MCL 28.422, which requires an individual to obtain a license to possess or transport a pistol in this state.

However, in an incident not involving the firearm, my client was arrested and evicted from his hotel room, where his firearm was located. Because he was arrested and evicted, local law enforcement officers sized his property from his hotel room. Per MCL 750.239a, “the police agency that recovered or confiscated the firearm shall determine if there is a known legal owner of the firearm and whether the firearm has been reported stolen.” And since the gun was not registered in the State of Michigan, it was not showing up in the police database. So when the client was released from jail later that day, he was forced to travel back to his home state without his firearm. The reason is that, because the police had not been able to identify my client as the owner, they would not release it to him. Ultimately, the gentleman will have to drive several hours back to Michigan to retrieve his property or pay the police to ship it to a local gun dealer for his retrieval.

My advice for cpl holders traveling out of state would be to store a digital copy of your firearm registration on your phone or to the cloud so that if you find yourself in a similar situation that my client was in, you can hopefully expediate the process of verifying you as the rightful owner and retrieving your firearm.

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Peer Recognition

Mike Nichols is a national leader in drunk driving defense. He is a member of the Forensic Committee and Michigan delegate to the National College for DUI Defense. He is also a Sustaining Member of the College. Nichols is also a founding member of the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys; a member of the American Chemical Society; an associate member of he American Academy of Forensic Science, Adjunct Professor of Forensic Evidence in Criminal Law and OWI Law and Practice at Cooley Law School. He is also author of the West OWI Practice book and several chapters in other books on science and the law.

Mike Nichols is recognized by his peers in Michigan as a “SuperLawyer” in DUI/Criminal Defense. Nichols has also been asked to speak at conferences by groups such as the NCDD; Various Bar Associations in other states.