The process of possessing, purchasing or transporting a handgun in the State of Michigan is a carefully regulated process designed to ensure that only those persons who are eligible may do so. The State has delegated the responsibility to local law enforcement agencies to screen applicants and process requests to purchase a handgun.
Michigan law requires that a person must be a minimum of 18 years of age to purchase a handgun from a private party, at least 21 years of age to purchase a handgun from a licensed dealer, be a citizen of the United States or a resident legal alien, is not under an order of involuntary commitment due to a mental illness or have been adjudged legally incapacitated, and not have a felony criminal history record. A computer background check is conducted with a State of Michigan Automated Pistol Registration System (APRS) which checks for a criminal history and assigns a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) number that tracks that handgun purchase.
A person desiring to purchase a handgun first goes to their local law enforcement agency and presents a valid Michigan driver’s license or State ID card to verify your identity and your current address. For a legal resident alien, their Permanent Resident Card must be presented in addition to their State ID card. If the individual does not live within the City of Kentwood, additional background checks must be done, and the process could take more than a business day or two, depending on the response time of the individual’s local police agency. For a more efficient process, it is recommended to go to your local jurisdiction for a permit. Once the background checks are complete and the permit is approved, it will then be signed by the individual and notarized by our department. There is a $5.00 fee (cash or check only) for the notary. **Please note - there is no need to bring you handgun with you to process the permit**
Once the pistol purchase permit process is completed, the permit will be good for 30 days. Once the purchaser has obtained the firearm (the purchaser and seller will complete filling out the permit upon completing their own transaction), the purchaser has 10 days to return the MSP copy back to the agency. If the purchaser’s 30 day deadline is less than the 10 days from acquisition of the firearm, the 30 day deadline is the final deadline.
Completing the Permit:
The seller of the handgun completes the purchase permit with the make, model and serial number of the handgun that they are selling. The seller keeps the permit labeled “seller’s copy” as proof of the transfer and sale of the firearm. The purchaser keeps the “purchaser copy” permit as their proof of purchase of the firearm, and the “MSP copy” is returned to the police agency.
If you have any questions regarding the purchase or possession of a handgun, please contact the Kentwood Police Department at (616) 698-6580.
For more information please visit the Michigan State Police Firearms page by clicking here.