Felon in Possession of Firearms

A significant negative consequence of a felony conviction is the forfeiting of your right to bear arms. In Michigan, however, unlike many other states, felons do have the ability to reinstate their right to bear arms, subject to their successful completion of a list of conditions imposed by the state. The conditions imposed on felons are comprehensive and often require the assistance of an attorney to successfully reinstate gun ownership rights.

If, however, a felon ignores the law imposed on felons and firearms, he or she will be subjected to a separate and distinct felony for the mere act of possessing a firearm under Michigan law. This only compounds the problem and leads to more negative and lasting consequences. If you are accused or charged with felon in possession of a firearm, contact me today to preserve your rights and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Felon's Gun Ownership Restrictions

Michigan law establishes distinct gun ownership restrictions depending on the nature of your underlying felony conviction. If a felony has been pardoned or expunged, these conditions are moot (unless specifically imposed).

Specified Felony: A felony in which one or more of the following circumstances exist:

  • The use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against a person or property
  • The unlawful manufacture, possession, or distribution of a controlled substance
  • The unlawful possession or distribution of a firearm
  • The unlawful use of an explosive
  • Burglary, breaking and entering into an occupied dwelling, or arson.

If an individual committed any of the above “specified felonies,” he/she cannot possess, use, carry, sell, or purchase a firearm or ammunition in Michigan until 5 years after the following conditions have been met:

  • The individual paid all fines
  • The individual has served all imprisonment terms
  • The individual has successfully completed parole and probation
  • Restoration of rights from a Michigan circuit court per MCL 28.424

MPC 750.224f

Other Felony: If you were convicted of a non specified felony (i.e. any other kind of felony or any crime punishable by 4 years or more in prison), you cannot possess, use, carry, sell, or purchase a firearm or ammunition in Michigan until 3 years after you have met all of the conditions below:

  • The individual paid all criminal fines
  • The individual served prison term
  • The individual successfully completed all of parole or probation requirements


The restrictions on gun ownership for felons is specifically codified under Michigan law, and any violation of the statute carries an additional felony and severe consequences.

  • First Offense: Felony
    • Up to 5 years in prison
    • Fine up to $5,000.
  • Subsequent Offense: Every violation of this section is treated as a separate offense under Michigan law.
    • Ex. Two offenses could mean up to 10 years in jail and $10,000 in fines.

Reinstatement of Firearm Rights

Much like the reinstatement of your driver’s license, you need to actively apply for reinstatement of your gun rights. Once the statutory conditions for reinstatement are met, you must complete the application for reinstatement and file with a Michigan circuit court. The judge is given considerable deference to grant your request for reinstatement, and the hearing will focus on whether there is clear and convincing evidence of the following:

  • Statutory five-year period has lapsed and all conditions met under MPC 750.224f.
  • Reinstatement application properly completed.
  • The reinstatement of your gun rights does not likely pose a danger to others.

An attorney is strongly recommended for this reinstatement hearing, because if the judge rejects your application, there is a one year waiting period before you may reapply. ZAYID LAW has had success representing clients seeking reinstatement of their gun rights.