LANSING, Mich.—The definition of a pistol has been changed from a firearm with an overall length of 30 inches or less to one of 26 inches or less, according to legislation signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday.
State Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, led the effort to change the definition with fellow Sens. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, and Dave Robertson, R-Grand Blanc Township.
Green said the change is needed to clear up confusion among firearm manufacturers, retailers, law enforcement, and gun owners, due to the fact that Michigan’s statutory definition conflicts in certain cases with the one used in federal law and by most other states.
“After unanimous concurrence from the House, Governor Snyder signed this important measure into law,” said Green. “This legislation amends Michigan’s legal definition of a pistol to make it more uniform with other states and more consistent for firearms makers, retailers and buyers doing lawful business in this state, especially as it relates to youth-hunting firearms and sporting rifles.
“Hunting and recreational shooting contribute a lot to our economy, and this legislation will have a positive impact on that industry.”
Federal and state requirements for background checks at the point of purchase will not change, nor will laws concerning gun owners who lawfully purchased, registered or carried a firearm as a pistol under the old definition.