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Do I have to retake the one-day CPL course and get a new certificate when I renew my CPL?

A: According to MCL 28.425l(7): "The educational requirements under section 5b(7)(c) for an applicant who is applying for a renewal of a license under this act are waived except that the applicant shall certify that he or she has completed at least 3 hours' review of the training described under section 5b(7)(c) and has had at least 1 hour of firing range time in the 6 months immediately preceding the subsequent application." This means that, not only do you not have to re-take the entire course, you do not even need a formal review of the legal portion of the training for your renewal. However, I feel the need to point out that you are responsible for knowing of changes to the law as they occur. In fact, one of the main purposes of this newsletter is to alert readers to such changes as they occur. For example, in October of 2006, there were significant changes to the law, including Stand Your Ground (no more duty to retreat outside the home so long as lawful force is used in legitimate self-defense), Qualified Civil Immunity (Plaintiff pays Defendant's actual attorney fees in a civil suit when Defendant shows that his/her use of force was lawful self-defense), and the presumption that one who breaks into an occupied home or car means to do great bodily harm. Therefore, I do recommend that CPL renewal applicants take the time to sit through the legal portion of a CPL class prior to renewal. Since we are all tasked with keeping up on changes to Michigan law, it is better to rely on a competent professional trainer for your review, and perhaps supplement that session with some "homework," than to simply do three hours of self-study. When I do the legal portion of CPL classes, I find that there is a great benefit to the classroom discussion that occurs and I can see that attendees are thinking through the "what ifs" of various situations and then discussing issues that might not have occurred to them doing solo research in a library or online. Find a good trainer whom you respect, and pay the small fee for sitting in on at least the legal portion of a class. As an attorney who practices in this area, I can attest to the fact that an ounce of prevention is indeed worth at least a pound of cure when it comes to the law.