Proposed Expansion of Certain Rifles in the Shotgun Zone

Hunting/Trapping, Shotgun, Rifle Zones of Michigan

MUCC members have been working to educate the Natural Resources Commission and advocate for the expansion of firearms in the traditional “shotgun zone” of Michigan’s Southern Lower Peninsula, according to resolutions that passed at 2010’s and 2013’s Annual Conventions.

The proposal is now on the docket for discussion among the NRC at their May 8 meeting in Lansing–an order to expand the use of certain rifles and air rifles in the “shotgun zone” will be for information this month and possible action in June or July, in time to be in effect for the November firearm deer season. The order and memo explaining all the changes (more than just these) can be found here:

In short, the relevant language redefines the “shotgun zone” as the “limited firearms deer zone” and adds the following to the list of allowable firearms in Southern Michigan:

“(d) A .35 caliber or larger rifle loaded with straight-walled cartridges with a minimum case length of 1.16
inches and a maximum case length of 1.80 inches.
(e) A .35 caliber or larger air rifle or pistol charged only from an external high-compression power source
such as an external hand pump, air tank, or air compressor.”
The language on straight-walled cartridges is the same as found in House Bill 4283 (Rep. Matt Lori: R-Constantine) , which MUCC has also supported but remains stuck on the floor of the Michigan Senate after passing the House of Representatives a year ago.
MUCC encourages members to contact the NRC Commissioners to support this proposal–you can find their contact info here:,4570,7-153-65134_65145—,00.html

We know there is a lot of interest in this issue, and we are almost there, but we need to demonstrate the support that is out there so let’s get it done! Feel free to share this message to others who might be interested!

  • J. Williams

    I’ve been around awhile. I was once invited to leave an archery shop for the suggestion that compound bows were probably okay. When the tree stand discussion first came up many were sure it would totally eliminate the deer herd because “deer never look up”, and you would be able to walk across the U.P. on the dead bodies that had fallen out of them. Tree stands had been in use in the southern states for 200 years without ill effect. Pistols, CCW laws, crossbows, Sunday hunting, heck, right turn on red, all were supposed to end life on the planet as we know it. Nothing happened. So it is with with pistol rounds in rifles. A .44 mag is no more or less lethal than a 20 gauge sabot. Muzzle loaders easily get to centerfire velocities. Indiana has had this for a few years and it’s been great. What’s the hold up in Michigan? Boogey men. They’re everywhere. I say the MUCC should take the NRC and some Senators out to a range and let them sight in 12 gauge slug guns for a day. Then next week the pistol rounds in rifles. Let’s see what happens.