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What is a CCW? and why do People Still use it?

Mr. Smith: I took my CCW class so I can carry my pistol concealed!

Mr. Wesson: You know CCW is a felony here in Michigan, not a carry permit, right?

Hello everyone, my name is Joseph Radzwion IV, Your Trusted Attorney with Radzwion Law, PLLC and in this post we are talking to you about a felony charge here in Michigan known as Carrying a Concealed Weapon or “CCW” charge. We are also looking at why citizens still use the term CCW.

Under MCL 750.227 Michigan law prohibits the carrying of certain weapons. The general idea is that the law makes it illegal to carry a concealed handgun in public without a concealed pistol license. This violation can occur in multiple situations. The number one violation we see is improperly transporting the handgun in a vehicle. We have linked our post on how to properly transport a handgun below. Once the violation occurs, the prosecutor will issue the felony charge of Carrying a Concealed Weapon.

I have posted a CCW Complaint Example as a PDF copy of an actual CCW charged against my client at the bottom of our blog post on our website.

So why then do citizens still use the term CCW permit to describe their concealed pistol licenses? Well, when the state of Michigan decided to start issuing weapon permits to its residents, the permit was called a carry concealed weapon permit. This permit was not specific to only pistols. In the early 2000's the legislator changed the permit to a concealed pistol license which limits the CPL holder to only carrying of a pistol.

In other words, the state change the licensing requirements to only allow a CPL holder to carry a pistol. Along with the law changing, the term "CCW permit" was done away with and changed to CPL which stands for Concealed Pistol license. Some shooting ranges and guns shops still use the term CCW because they are stuck in the 1990's. CCW is also still used in part because it is mostly a universal term when it comes to the idea of a citizen with a carry permit. Other states use terms like CCP (Concealed Carry Permit) or CHL (Concealed Handgun License). But here in Michigan as Mr. Wesson pointed out to Mr. Smith, a CCW is a felony and something one should avoid being convicted of.

In conclusion, a CCW is a felony charge and a CPL is the conceal carry permit that allows a citizen to carry a pistol concealed in public.

Tip to Think like a Lawyer

A common way for law abiding citizens to get charged with a CCW felony, is letting their CPL expire. If you have a CPL, make sure it is valid and you keep it current to avoid getting charged with a felony.

Related Videos

How to Get back your Forfeited Weapon After a CCW Charge (coming soon)

CCW Complaint Example
Download PDF • 345KB

REMEMBER: Our posts should never be taken as legal advice. You should ALWAYS consult a Trusted Attorney with your legal questions.

Your Trusted Attorney

If you would like to retain Radzwion Law, PLLC as Your Trusted Attorney, please do not hesitate to contact us, we are here to protect you when you need it most and we will fight for your freedom!


In other words, the state ensures citizens have to bow before the state to protect themselves from criminals. Big Government is not any honest citizen's friend. They also ensure the criminals get out on the street early too.

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