Police Department

Pistol Licenses and Registration

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Pistol Licensing and Registration Hours

Ann Arbor Police Department pistol license and registration hours are Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Please make an appointment to expedite service when requiring a license to purchase. 

For questions or to make an appointment, please contact Police Services Specialist Chris Briney at 734.794.6930, ext. 49307 or cbriney@a2gov.org.

Pistol licensing and registration is not available on the following holidays:

  • New Years Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day
  • Presidents Day
  • Good Friday
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Veterans Day
  • Thanksgiving Day (and the Friday after)
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • New Years Eve

Circumstances Requiring Pistol Licensing

Michigan state law requires that ALL pistols (defined as any firearm under 26 inches in overall length) be licensed. Due to the change in state law on Dec. 18, 2012, the method for licensing your pistol may be different, depending on your circumstance. Listed below are the most common circumstances and the steps necessary to license your pistol. If you do not see your circumstance, feel free to contact the pistol registration office, and someone will be able to assist you.

Purchasing a pistol from a retail federal firearms dealer (i.e., gun store)

If you are purchasing the pistol from a person/entity that has a retail federal firearms license (FFL) (i.e., Cabela's, Ann Arbor Arms, Guns Galore, etc.), a license to purchase will not be required. You will be issued a pistol sales record at the time of purchase, of which the completed Michigan State Police (MSP) copy will need to be submitted to the law enforcement agency for which you reside within 10 calendar days of the purchase date. The person/entity MUST provide their FFL number on the form.

Purchasing a pistol from an individual

If you are purchasing the pistol from an individual who does not have a retail FFL (i.e., friend, family member, gun show purchase, etc.), you will be required to obtain a license to purchase prior to purchasing the pistol, unless you have a concealed pistol license (CPL). If you have a current and valid CPL, you need to have the seller fill out a pistol sales record (PSR) in lieu of obtaining a license to purchase. 

You may obtain a license to purchase from ANY law enforcement agency in Michigan, provided that you are a Michigan resident. When the license to purchase is completed by the seller, the MSP copy must be returned to the agency that issued the license to purchase within 10 calendar days. If you are turning in a PSR, the MSP copy must be turned into the police agency for which you reside within 10 days of obtaining the gun. 

The Ann Arbor Police Department will ONLY accept PSRs for Ann Arbor city residents!

Obtaining a pistol from the estate of someone who is recently deceased

If you receive a pistol as the executor of a deceased relative/friend's estate, you will need to obtain a license to purchase (or a PSR for CPL holders) for each pistol. Be prepared to provide a death certificate and documentation naming you the executor of the deceased's estate. If you are the person who inherited the pistol(s), you will need to obtain a license to purchase prior to taking possession of the pistol(s) from the executor.

Moving to Michigan from another state

If you just moved to Ann Arbor from another state, you will need to license all firearms less than 26 inches in overall length. Long guns and shotguns 26 inches and over in length do not require licenses. In order to license your pistol(s), you will need one of the following: a Michigan driver's license, a Michigan personal ID card, a Michigan voter registration card, or for military personnel, a government-issued photo ID along with a copy of orders or letter from your CO that Michigan is your permanent duty assignment as well as proof of your home of record. One of these MUST be obtained prior to licensing the gun(s).

License to Purchase and Pistol Sales Records Information

You may obtain a license to purchase from the Ann Arbor Police Department regardless if you are a resident of the city or not. If you obtained the license to purchase here, you MUST return the MSP copy of the form here. If you obtained a pistol sales record, either because you received it at the point of sale from a retail federal firearms licensed person/entity or are a concealed pistol license holder purchasing a pistol, you MUST submit the MSP copy to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the residence indicated on the pistol sales record form. The AAPD WILL NOT accept nonresident pistol sales records. Having an Ann Arbor mailing address does not necessarily mean that you are a resident of the City of Ann Arbor, so please verify that you are a resident of the city prior to submitting the pistol sales record. Also, if you have recently moved, please be sure your ID (driver's license, state ID card) is updated prior to purchasing your pistol so that the address on the pistol sales record matches the address on your ID. This will help alleviate any confusion over which law enforcement agency has jurisdiction in accepting your pistol sales record.

After you have verified that you need to turn in your Pistol Sales Record or License to Purchase with the Ann Arbor Police Pistol Registration office, you may bring the paperwork in person to the Ann Arbor Police Department, which is located on the second floor of the Justice Center.  

If you arrive after business hours, you may turn the paperwork in to the Police Front Desk, also located on the second floor of the Justice Center. 

If you prefer to mail in the Pistol Sales Record or License to Purchase please mail it to:  Ann Arbor Police Department, ATTN: Pistol Registration Office, P.O. Box 8647, Ann Arbor, MI 48107.

DO NOT bring your firearm to the police department, as security will not allow you past the checkpoint. The law changed several years ago and pistol safety inspections are no longer required. Due to this change, it is the licensee's responsibility to check and verify that ALL relevant fields are entered correctly and are legible on the License to Purchase or Pistol Sales Record.

The Ann Arbor Police Department is NOT responsible for Pistol Sales Records or Licenses to Purchase that are incorrect, incomplete, or illegible.

Concealed Pistol Licensing

To obtain or renew a concealed pistol license (CPL), Washtenaw County residents must go to the county clerk’s office to pick up a CPL application packet. The office address is 200 N. Main St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104. You may obtain further information on the county clerk's website.

Other Notes About Pistol Licensing

Once your handgun is licensed in the state of Michigan, you are not required to re-license the gun, provided you are still a resident of the state.

Michigan residents who have permanent legal alien status are eligible to purchase firearms. In addition to the proof of Michigan-residency requirements, you must also have been a resident of Michigan for at least 90 days and produce your resident alien card when presenting your application to get a license to purchase.

Long guns, such as rifles and shotguns, that are over 26 inches in overall length are not subject to licensing requirements. Measurements are taken in the firearm's most compact form. For example, if the firearm comes with a telescoping, collapsible rear stock, the measurement would be taken at its shortest configuration.

Antique pistols, defined as pistols that were manufactured prior to 1898 (or replicas of those pistols) that use matchlock, flintlock or percussion-cap ignition systems are not required to be licensed.

Gas or spring-powered pistols are also no longer required to be licensed.

On Dec. 18, 2012, Governor Rick Snyder signed Public Act 377 which made the following changes to the license to purchase requirements: If you are buying a handgun from someone with a federal firearms license (FFL), including a retail store (such as Cabela’s, Ann Arbor Arms, etc.), you NO LONGER are required to obtain a license to purchase prior to your purchase. The FFL will provide you with a pistol sales record, which must be filled out and the agency copy and Michigan State Police (MSP) copy returned to the police agency for which you reside. If you do not have a concealed pistol license (CPL), please have the FFL fill in their FFL number in the CPL number field on the form. If you are obtaining a pistol from a private individual who does not have an FFL (i.e., a relative, a seller at a gun show, obtaining a gun from the estate of a deceased individual, etc.), you will be required to get a license to purchase prior to obtaining the pistol, however, you may obtain it from any police agency in Michigan, not just the police agency for which you live. For example, if you live in Ann Arbor, but work in Canton Township, you could obtain the license to purchase from Canton Township.

Once the transaction has been completed, you will need to return the agency copy and MSP copy to the agency from which you obtained it. If you got the license to purchase from Canton Township, but live in Ann Arbor, you will need to return the MSP/Agency copies of the license to purchase to Canton Township. 

After you get your license to purchase, regardless from which agency you obtain it, you will have 30 days to obtain the gun.The basic pistol safety questionnaire is no longer required to obtain a license to purchase.

Also, Public Act 242, which went into effect on Jan. 1, 2013, changed the definition of a handgun from being a firearm less than 30 inches in overall length to a firearm less than 26 inches in overall length. Anyone who has registered their gun as a handgun that was between 26 and 30 inches may choose to opt out of having their handgun registered by going to the MSP website, selecting "firearms," and fill out firearms form RI-044 and submit it to the firearms record unit.

To learn more about Michigan’s gun laws, visit the Michigan State Police website