The Summer of 2020 was marked by riots and protests all around the country, including Michigan. While the protests in Detroit have largely been peaceful, you may still wonder what to do when visiting, if you find yourself feeling unsafe in Detroit. Whether you are in one of the restaurants in and around Campus Martius, while on the campus of Wayne State University, picnicking on Belle Isle, visiting the Motor City Casino, or elsewhere throughout the city, we want to remind you of the laws that apply.
If you possess a valid Concealed Pistol License (“CPL”), you may bring your pistol with you when dining in any of Detroit’s excellent restaurants. Remember, however, that Michigan law provides that you may not conceal carry in an establishment where the primary source of income is the sale of alcoholic liquor by the glass and consumed on the premises. This means restaurants are ok, but bars are not. See MCL § 28.425o.
Caution is also needed when carrying in Detroit, as the campus of Wayne State University sits across from Detroit’s art center and is not far from Comerica Park, Ford Field, and Greektown. If you have a valid CPL and want to concealed carry in Detroit, you should know the exact boundaries of the University’s footprint, because the entire University is off-limits for guns and other defensive weapons. According to Campus Safety Ordinances 2.87.03, firearms, knives, and dangerous weapons are forbidden on all property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by Wayne State University. This prohibition applies to all individuals when present on University property, with very limited exceptions, regardless of whether the individual has a concealed weapons permit or is otherwise authorized by law to possess, discharge, or use any firearm or other weapon listed in the ordinance. Persons found in violation can be fined up to $500.
State Parks and International Jurisdiction
Detroit’s Belle Isle is a popular place to spend a beautiful fall day. As a state park, firearms enforcement on the Island is covered by the Department of Natural Resources, and firearms are generally allowed. If you are traveling to Belle Isle by boat, however, be aware that part of the Detroit River is under the jurisdiction of Canada. Thus, while your CPL may allow you to carry your pistol on your boat, if you pass over the border into Canada, even unknowingly or accidentally, your lawful weapon has suddenly become prohibited.
Want to spend an evening out at one of Detroit’s casinos? Your best bet is to leave your firearms behind, as Michigan precludes the possession of firearms in a casino. See Mich. Admin. Code R. 432.1212. And whether you are visiting a casino, having a picnic on Belle Isle, or dining at a restaurant, be sure to remain alcohol-free. Having as little as a .02 blood alcohol content puts your CPL at risk. In most cases, just one standard drink has enough alcohol to get you to a .02, so again, total abstinence is your best, safest, and most responsible policy.
For any questions regarding gun laws in Michigan’s big cities, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.
The preceding should not be construed as legal advice nor the creation of an attorney-client relationship. This is not an endorsement or solicitation for any service. Your situation may be different, so please contact your attorney regarding your specific circumstances. Because the laws, judges, juries, and prosecutors vary from location to location, similar or even identical facts and circumstances to those described in this presentation may result in significantly different legal outcomes. This presentation is by no means a guarantee or promise of any particular legal outcome, positive, negative, or otherwise.