CPL Facts and Information 


Reference links

State Concealed Pistol Application Guide 

Firearms Laws of Michigan - 2015 edition

Michigan's Concealed Pistol Law - FAQs - see state police web site


Here is a brief list of CPL facts and Information

  The Michigan concealed pistol license is often referred to as a CPL or CCW.   The correct term is CPL

1. In the State Concealed Pistol Application Guide the term used is Pistol Safety Training Course

It states "The instructor shall be certified by this state or a national organization (NRA) to teach the eight-hour

pistol safety training course required by Michigan law  Act Act 372 of 1927

2. Instructors are certified by the NRA

3. The State approved course is the NRA Personal Protect in the Home Training Program.

So- The Pistol Safety Training Course is the NRA Personal Protection in the Home Course.

The Michigan Department of the state police is task with implementing and regulating the concealed pistol training course.


CPL Training - A two part class presentation

1. The NRA Personal Protection in the Home Course.  This course presents the mindset and strategy for self- defense in general, with particular attention to protection in the home.  

 2.  The legal portion is as described in chapter three of the NRA course and as prescribed under Michigan state law.  See Act 372 of 1927 section 28.425j

Firearms and the law, including civil liability issues and the use of deadly force.

This portion shall be taught by an attorney or an individual trained in the use of deadly force. Meaning a person that is certified as a NRA Instructor but does not have specialized training or certification in firearms law should not be teaching the legal part. The Instructor must have some form of credible training in Michigan firearms law, use of deadly force and legal liability.  Therefore completing a CPL course by itself does not comply firearms law instructor qualifications     See instructor


Michigan CPL Class Standards:

· Attend an approved 8 hour course of training

· Complete a live fire course that includes the student demonstrate safe handgun operation and the ability to place consistent shot placement on a 8.5 X 11 size sheet of paper at distance of up to 21 ft.

 · Pass a 25 question NRA written test


Written Tests:

  The state of Michigan does not provide or mandate a standardized written test for the firearms law and legal liability part of the class.

The decision as to whether to issue a test and the test content is at the discretion of the instructor. 


HGTS Policy:  When a person decides to apply for a CPL and carry a deadly weapon, we consider that it is important to establish a process to evaluate the knowledge of the applicant.

Therefore for your benefit we have developed a web based program with a written tests that is used as a learning tool to verify the knowledge of the student.



CPL Course Preparation: Preparation is the key to a successful training event

 We at (HGTS) have developed an optional two part HeadStart preparation program. 

These are separate parts to be taken as recommended by the instructor or desired by the applicant.

 Each part is an independent subject not dependent on the other. HeadStart programs are include in the registration fee of the class.

1. On line web based academic training - Two web based options that can be done from the convenience of your computer.

        1.The complete CPL course in review with a written test. (Highly recommended)

        2. The Quick Review short course without a written test.

 2. Shooting Skills - Based on prior experience there are three possible options to consider for meeting the requirements.

  1. Attend a basic shooting course to developed the CPL skills

  2. Complete the course of fire at class time to see if you meet the skill requirements.

  3. Take additional shooting skill training after the class if required.


The CPL and Your Responsibility ------------



Criminal and Civil Liability

A person can be held criminally and civilly liable for wrongfully pointing or discharging a pistol at another person and there is always the possibility of prosecution and/or a wrongful death lawsuit. This could result in trauma to yourself and your family, the loss of freedom, loss of employment, related wages and health benefits, and future wages and employment


It is your responsibility to stay current on all applicable laws, with the understanding that you are not on a state or federal data base the sends you updates as they occur.


More Facts you should know


There are two ways to find updates-

1. Updates are posted on the appropriate state or federal web site.

2. Updates can be found  through the Michigan Department of State Police. 

MSP is required to send UPDATES to police officers as they occur. click here for updates related to Firearms Laws

Although you are not "required" by law to take additional range training during the duration of the license it is important to stay current on your shooting skills.   

3. The CPL license is valid for up to 5 years

4. The Initial applicants CPL will expire on their birthday of the fifth year.

5. Applicants are required to apply for the license in their county of residence.

6. You the CPL holder is required to complete a 4 hours of "required training" before the renewal of your CPL.   

7. You can move anywhere within the state of Michigan and it is not necessary to change the CPL address to that of your drivers license.

8. If you are going to take a handgun into another state (s) - You are required to know the CPL firearms laws of the other states.

9. You can qualify for the CPL class with any type and caliber of handgun.

10. You are not required to re- qualify or demonstrate proficiency to carry a handgun that was not used to quality for your CPL.   

11. A handgun can be purchased without a CPL

13. Purchase permit ( background checks are completed at point of sale)

14. The CPL license is a handgun purchase permit. 

15. You can purchase a handgun(s) over the counter from a Federally licensed Gun Dealer with or without a CPL at the point of sale.

16. All handguns must to be registered.

17. You can carry more than one handgun


Concealed Pistol Application and Handgun Purchase Procedures

There are two separate procedures done for two different reasons

The concealed pistol application permit is a state permit that is processed by your county of residence.

It has nothing to do with the purchase of a handgun.

A handgun purchase is processed by your local police department

A person could have a CPL permit and never own a handgun or have a handgun and never have a CPL

 A person with a Michigan CPL can "borrow" another persons legally registered handgun, meaning have sole possession without the owner being present.

A person without a CPL can use another's handgun with the owner present during the use. 

Both have to residents of Michigan.


 Handgun Purchase


Purchasing and Registering a Pistol in Michigan - click to read more


1. Possession of a legal handgun

3. Transporting a handgun

The handgun is not accessible – meaning

4. Concealed Carry

Concealed Carrying means having an accessible handgun on person or in vehicle

5. Open Carry is legal

The handgun must be carried so as to be visible from 3 sides ( police officer presentation)

6. Transporting a handgun

If I do not have a CPL permit, may I transport my pistol in a motor vehicle?

MCL 750.231a A person is now permitted to transport a pistol for a lawful purpose if the owner or occupant of the vehicle is the registered owner of the firearm and the pistol is unloaded and in a closed case in the trunk of the vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the pistol may be in the passenger compartment of the vehicle unloaded and inaccessible to the occupants of the vehicle.

A 'lawful purpose' includes:


7. Is it legal to carry a visible pistol in public?

Although MCL 750.227 restricts carrying a pistol concealed on your person or in a vehicle, there is no statute that specifically prohibits carrying a visible pistol. MCL 750.234d states that you cannot possess any firearm in a depository financial institution, a church or other house of religious worship, court, theatre, sports arena, day care center, hospital or an establishment licensed under the Michigan liquor control act, unless that possession is with the permission of the owner or his/her agent of the entity.

8. Can a resident of another state legally possess a pistol in Michigan?

If you are a non-resident of Michigan with a valid concealed pistol permit from your home state, Michigan will recognize your permit (MCL 28.432 & MCL 28.432a). However, you must carry in conformance with any and all restrictions appearing on the permit. You are subject to Michigan's concealed pistol law including but not limited to restrictions on where a concealed pistol may be carried. Without a CPL, a non-resident may not have a pistol in Michigan.

9. Is an individual required to carry a copy of their Safety Inspection Certificate with them at all times?

Michigan law does not require a person to have a copy of their certificate with their pistol after it has been registered; nor does the law require that a person keep a copy. As of January 2009, Safety Inspection Certificates are no longer issued.

10. How should long-guns be legally transported?

MCL 750.227d describes that any firearm other than a pistol can only be transported in a motor vehicle if it is unloaded and is one or more of the following: taken down, enclosed in a case, carried in the trunk of the vehicle, or inaccessible from the interior of the vehicle. A violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or a fine of not more than $100 or both.

1. An application to renew a CPL may be submitted not more than six months before, nor one year after, the expiration of the current CPL.

2. A CPL is valid until the applicant's date of birth that falls not less than four years or more than five years after the license is issued or renewed.
3. CPL holders will be notified that their license is approaching expiration by their county clerk between three to six months prior to the expiration of their current license. A CPL may be renewed at the appropriate county clerk’s office with a $115 payment to the county clerk.
4. Upon payment of renewal fees, the applicant will be issued a receipt. This receipt, when carried with the expired license, shall serve as a valid CPL until the new license or notice of statutory disqualification is received. For the purposes of Michigan law, the receipt is considered to be part of the CPL until a renewal is issued or denied.
5. Possession of this receipt and expired CPL does not exempt the holder from the requirement to obtain a license to purchase a pistol or exempt a firearms dealer from running a background check prior to the sale of a pistol.
6. An application is considered a renewal if the applicant has previously received a CPL in compliance with the training requirements set forth in Michigan law effective July 1, 2001, and the previous license has not been expired more than one year.
7. An applicant applying for a renewal is not required to have fingerprints taken again if the applicant's fingerprints have been submitted to and are maintained by the MSP. Fingerprints have been maintained by the MSP since January 1, 2006.
8. The applicant shall sign the statement on the application certifying that he or she has completed at least three hours of review of the required training and has had at least one hour of firing range time in the six months immediately preceding the renewal application.
Exception: The training requirements are waived for an individual who is a retired police officer or retired law enforcement officer.
9. An individual licensed to carry a concealed pistol may carry a concealed pistol under the authority of his or her CPL until the CPL expires or the individual's authority to carry a concealed pistol is otherwise suspended or revoked,