In a recent opinion, People v. Lumpkins, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld the conviction of a woman convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in violation of MCL 750.227.

Defendant was arrested after causing a disturbance in the common hallway outside her apartment. When she was searched at the jail, she turned over a small, unloaded handgun to the police. She was charged with and convicted of carrying a concealed weapon. Defendant appealed her conviction, arguing that she came within in the exceptions to MCL 750.227:

(1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk, stiletto, a double-edged nonfolding stabbing instrument of any length, or any other dangerous weapon, except a hunting knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in any vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business or on other land possessed by the person.

A person shall not carry a pistol concealed on or about his or her person, or, whether concealed or otherwise, in a vehicle operated or occupied by the person, except in his or her dwelling house, place of business, or on other land possessed by the person, without a license to carry the pistol as provided by law and if licensed, shall not carry the pistol in a place or manner inconsistent with any restrictions upon such license. [MCL 750.227 (emphasis added).]

Defendant argued that the common hallway was part of her “dwelling house” or “other land possessed by” her and thus she was in legal possession of the handgun.

The Court of Appeals rejected her argument find that the purpose of the exceptions was to allow persons to defend areas in which they have a possessory interest. In this case, Defendant did not have a sufficient possessory interest in the hallway to bring her within the exception. The Court applied landlord-tenant law and held that “[t]he landlord retains possession over common areas, and grants tenants only a license to use the common areas.”

In short, leave your gun in your apartment unless you have the proper permit.

For information or questions regarding this post and appeals of Federal or State matters, readers can contact the author Charlotte Croson. Ms. Croson leads Nacht Law’s appellate practice in the Federal and State Courts.