How to buy a pellet pistol in Michigan?


June 8, 2006, 10:34 AM
After reading an interesting thread about the Marksman 2004, I thought I would like to pick one up to do a little practice in the back yard.

In Michigan, pellet pistols are treated the same as any other actual handgun and must be registered. Very few stores carry pellet pistols and none that I contacted has the Marksman 2004 (Grand Rapids area).

Has anyone else run into this problem?

It seems that I have 2 possible lawful alternatives: either ask a store on the web to fill out the pistol purchase form and send it to the state police, or find some store here that will act as the FFL and take receipt of the pistol and have me fill out the paperwork as i buy it from them.

What I would like to do is just order the pistol and upon receiving it go to the sheriff's office and register it there, but I am not certain that is the best idea.

EDIT - I do have a CPL so technically I already have a "license to purchase" if that makes any difference.

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Car Knocker
June 8, 2006, 11:25 AM
Amazing. Just totally amazing (shakes head).

Chuckulator, you have my sympathies.

June 8, 2006, 12:49 PM
Wish I could be of help, but since I don't live there...........:confused:

I guess my best advice would be to move back!

June 8, 2006, 12:57 PM
Yes, this is a crazy aspect of MI law, but the CCW laws in MI are far better than those in Ohio.

How would someone with a C&R buy a pistol in MI? It should be similar. You get the gun in the mail and then you have to take it to get it registered.

June 8, 2006, 12:58 PM
If it saves just one soda can ...:rolleyes:
I feel for you, I really do.

June 8, 2006, 01:02 PM
Drive to Ohio. Purchase the one what you want.
Take it back to MI and go right to the Sheriff's office. Tell them you received it as a gift from an out of state relative.

June 8, 2006, 01:15 PM
I bought a pellet pistol by mail order years ago in Michigan. I had to get a permit to purchase from the local police and mail that along with my order. Once I got the pistol, I had to take it back to the police to have it "safety inspected" (registered). Same deal when mail ordering black powder handguns too. Sucks, but what can you do other than vote and let them know it is stupid.

In most Michigan cities it is also against the city ordinances to "discharge a firearm" (including a pellet gun) inside the city limits. Shoot in the garage or basement when the neighbors can't see and complain is my only option.

June 8, 2006, 01:50 PM
I knew I wasn't in civilization any longer when I was required, by law, to physically carry every one of my handguns down to the Flint courthouse.

There, some idiotic bureaucrat physically examined the serial numbers to submit to some other idiot bureaucrat someplace else.

I didn't even have to do that when I moved to Kalifornistan. There all I had to do was mail a registration form along with $12 per handgun to Sacramento.

The irony is that these places with these draconian gun laws are also the ones with the highest crime rate. You'd think, at some point, the idiot politicians in charge would recognize a correlation between the two.

June 8, 2006, 02:21 PM
The black powder and pellet handgun registration situation in MI came about because if a Rabid Antigun Attorrney General named Frank Kelly. He's also the reason that any long gun with a collapsable or folding stock must be registered as a pistol. You need to check on the current black powder pistol regulations as I believe that they have been changed in Michigan. Write to the current Attorney General about the pellet gun problem. This is something that he could change and he has been pretty fair with gun owners.

June 8, 2006, 03:20 PM
Sounds like some action at the grass roots level is definitely called for. Glad to hear the new AG is gun friendly, that'll be helpful.

June 8, 2006, 05:09 PM
Actually I believe you can purchase a pellet pistol by mail if it does not have a rifled barrell and is cal. .177 or less. I just purchase an airsoft co2 pistol by mail without a problem. Just call any of the major online sellers--Pyramid and the like--and they will tell you what they can ship. The statements on the web sites that they cannot ship at all to Michigan are wrong and they will ship if the pistol is not a "firearm". You are right that the selection at Michigan sporting goods stores is poor, likely because of the red tape for a relatively small purchase. Midwest in Royal Oak does carry the more sophisticated ones with rifled barrels--you can purchase with your CPL and if it was issued after last November you avoid the background check. Can't avoid the silly registration or the laughs the local police will have.

June 8, 2006, 05:25 PM
Now I am glad I moved to Ohio. I have a Daisey 717 pellet pistol for 20+ yrs even when I lived in MI and I did not know I needed to register!!

June 8, 2006, 09:10 PM
Do ya'll have to get permission for an Airsoft toy too? :) Sorry, couldn't resist.

June 9, 2006, 08:07 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I have written to the Michigan state police to see what their take on it is. I will contact Pyramid Air today, and contacting the AG is not a bad idea either.

The barrel is definitely rifled according to the product description.

Airsoft does not have this problem.

By the way, I am hoping these pellet pistols have serial numbers. Otherwise, I will have to take it to the state police to have them stamp it with a serial number!

June 13, 2006, 12:45 PM
I would like to purchase a pellet pistol from an out-of-state website as it is not available locally. I have a Michigan CPL.

May I order the pistol and upon receiving it take it to the local sheriff for the safety inspection or do I need to have the vendor fill out the form "Pistol Sales Record" and have them forward it to the state police? My concern is that an out-of-state vendor may not wish to fill out that form.

If the pellet pistol you want to purchase qualifies as a firearm that has to be registered, you must complete all paperwork required by law. There are no waivers for out-of-state vendors. You should note that if your pistol is a firearm, federal law does not permit sales across state lines unless the sale is accomplished through a dealer. Generally, out-of-state sellers ship the firearm to a federally licenced dealer in the state of purchase, and the dealer then transfers ownership to the purchaser. For more information please see the ATF's website:

June 13, 2006, 09:01 PM
Go to and ask your questin in the "Legal Questions" or "Legal Beagle" forum. Jim Simmons is a Michigan attorney who posts there and he should know the answer.

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