As voting season is upon us and people are concerned about their safety, you may be wondering if carrying a gun while you vote is an option. Here in Michigan you have the option to carry and vote if you meet certain requirements. One requirement being, you have your Concealed Pistol License (“CPL”).
Regardless of what the media tells you or the "orders" given by state officials, Michigan law is Michigan law. That means unless the legislature passes a law between now and election day, Michigan law that allows carrying a pistol while voting is going to reign supreme.
**For the purpose of this article, we will focus on churches and schools because polling locations tend to be set up there.**
Under MCL 750.234d(1)(b) you may NOT possess a firearm on the premises (property) of a church or place of worship. This means, no firearms are allowed in the Church parking lot or in the Church building. However, MCL 750.234d(2)(c) says if you have your CPL, you may possess a firearm on Church property.
But, if you remember from the legal portion of your CPL Class, under MCL 28.425o says, you cannot conceal carry on school or church property unless you have permission for a school educational function or you have permission from the leader of the church. We will assume not many people get permission to carry at school or in church. So disregard that exception.
DON’T FORGET! Michigan law considers a gun located in a motorized vehicle, such as a car, to be concealed. So technically, if you say “I’ll just leave my gun in the car” that is still concealed and you still cannot have it in the church parking lot otherwise, you are in violation of the law. Same concept applies for a school parking lot.
If you are confused by now, that’s ok. Just remember this, MCL 750.234d(2)(c) allows a CPL holder to have a firearm on the church property in the parking lot or the building, but MCL 28.425o says it cannot be concealed. So by default, the only way to legally carry a pistol on church property while you vote is to Open Carry.*
*Open Carry means you must have the pistol fully exposed, in a holster, just like a uniformed police officer carries their gun while on duty. Open Carry demonstration can be found here: https://youtu.be/owu1R9oONhs
Remember, in order to properly Open Carry, you cannot drive into the school or church parking lot with your gun, because it is considered concealed while in the vehicle. Whether on school or church PROPERTY, you cannot conceal carry.
So this means, you will have to park on a side street or on other property that is not prohibited for a CPL Holder to Carry Concealed. You must get out of your car, make sure your pistol is fully exposed from top to bottom and side to side just like a uniformed police officer, then walk onto the Church or School Property to go and vote.
If you have questions about Open Carry, Conceal Carry, how to get your CPL or other gun laws, contact Radzwion Law, PLLC at 248-702-5282 or message us through www.radzwionlaw.com.
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