In our last article “Where to Start” we discussed a very basic overview of what you need to know. In an effort to bring more information on gun handling and techniques 248Shooter has recently partnered with an NRA instructor who will be adding his experience to our blog writing team. Expect to see some great information on those topics in the coming weeks.
This article will focus on answering the question of what will you use your gun for so you can determine how to pick the right gun for you. We suggested in the last article taking a CPL course or a gun safety class. To do this you will either need to rent or buy a gun. Until you are sure and I mean really sure of what you want rent, don’t buy. I made many expensive mistakes buying what people told me to buy instead of what felt right to me. You can always sell your gun (at least for now you can) but in 99% of the cases you will loose much more than if you just rented it.
There are 3 separate legal reasons to own a gun.
- Home Defense
- Personal Defense
- Target Shooting/Hunting
let me say that Joe Biden may be wrong on a lot of things but I will agree with him that if you’re new to guns and need a solid home defense weapon a 12 gauge or 20 gauge for smaller framed people is the way to go. They require very little practice and the sound of racking the slide on a pump action is known to cause immediate bowel evacuation in home invaders.
However in our current economy products that fill many uses are more attractive than single use tools. As such a handgun can really shine. Handguns offer you the ability to protect your home as well as your personal, family and property when away from home. Through the use of a Michigan CPL or by following the rules of Open Carry you can bring your firearm with you.
It is important that you understand the differences between Open Carry and Concealed Carry and what you are allowed to do with each. The laws governing these methods of carry differ and differ still when you have a CPL. This is not a legal forum, I am not a lawyer and this is not meant to replace the advice of an NRA instructor or your attorney.
These are the basic differences of each:
In Michigan, it is legal for a person to carry a firearm in public as long as the person is carrying the firearm with lawful intent and the firearm is not concealed. You will not find a law that states it is legal to openly carry a firearm. It is legal because there is no Michigan law that prohibits it; however, Michigan law limits the premises on which a person may carry a firearm.
MCL 750.234d provides that it is a 90 day misdemeanor to possess a firearm on the premises of any of the following:
A depository financial institution (e.g., bank or credit union)
A church or other place of religious worship
A sports arena
A day care center
An establishment licensed under the Liquor
The above section does not apply to any of the
The owner or a person hired as security (if the firearm is possessed for the purpose of providing security)
A peace officer
A person with a valid concealed pistol license (CPL) issued by any state
A person who possesses on one of the above listed premises with the permission of the owner or owner’s agent
This is based on the following MSP legal update: http://miopencarry.org/sites/default/files/MSP_Legal_Update_No._86_2_336854_7.pdf
If a firearm is covered or obscured from view by any manner or loaded while in your car you would fall under the regulations related to concealed carry which requires a permit. If someone who is carrying openly, who is not on their own private property, puts a coat on over his firearm or otherwise hides it, even temporarily, and he or she does not have a concealed pistol license, he or she has committed the felony crime of carrying a concealed weapon without a license.
As you can see having a CPL allows you to expand your rights over open carry without a CPL. These include keeping a loaded handgun on or about your person while in a vehicle, carrying in a theater and open carrying in several locations it would otherwise be illegal to open carry in.
Target Shooting Hunting:
I am not going to go into detail on these types of guns. The reason is simple, most new gun owners are not buying a gun for these reasons. We will go into these in our more advanced owners series but not today.
My take on it all:
The reason I have gone into all of this is simple. If you don’t know the laws or what you’re going to use your gun for then you can never pick the right gun for you. I advise all gun owners to assume you will one day carry your gun for one reason or another. Personally I carry everyday to every place I am legally entitled to. As such if you’re going to only own one gun or you want the opportunity to carry one day then I suggest a handgun over a shotgun. If you are absolutely adamant you will never carry or you have no issue owning several guns then buy a shotgun.
In our next article we will discuss the various calibers of handguns as well as frame sizes and action types. Until then happy shooting.