See our Gun Dealers policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Federal law requires firearms dealers to obtain a license from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), although resource limitations prevent the ATF from properly overseeing all its licensees.
Michigan does not require firearms dealers to obtain a license.
When selling a firearm in Michigan, a federally licensed firearms dealer must:
- Provide a free “brochure or pamphlet that includes safety information on the use and storage of the firearm in a home environment;”
- Ensuring that the purchaser has either a locking device or a gun case (see the section entitled Locking Devices in Michigan for details); and
- Sign a statement and require the buyer to sign a statement that the sale is in compliance with the aforementioned requirements under Michigan law.1
A federally licensed dealer must also post a notice, conspicuously at the entrances, exits and points of sale on the premises of his or her business, stating “[y]ou may be criminally and civilly liable for any harm caused by a person less than 18 years of age who lawfully gains unsupervised access to your firearm if unlawfully stored.”2
- Applicable to both licensed and unlicensed sellers of firearms, see the Michigan Private Sales section;
- Requiring firearms dealers to conduct a background check on the purchaser, see the Michigan Background Checks section;
- Requiring dealers and other sellers to record firearm sales and report them to law enforcement, see the Retention of Sales/Background Checks Records in Michigan section.