Feds Advise Gun Dealers To Halt Sales To Possible Marijuana Users

November 15, 2016

Weapons for sale. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The trend toward legalized marijuana in the U.S. now has more than half the states allowing either recreational or medicinal use of pot.

But federal laws have not changed—and anyone who acknowledges using marijuana can’t legally buy a gun.

The Wall Street Journal reports the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has advised licensed gun dealers that if they have any reason to believe a would-be buyer is a marijuana user, it’s the gun dealer’s responsibility to halt the transaction.

Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 controlled substance, with no approved medical use and a high potential for abuse, according to federal law. The DEA reaffirmed the classification in August.

The situation has led to some unusual political alliances. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska is a hunter who was surprised to find a question about marijuana use on the form she had to fill out to pick up a gift gun. And the pro-pot group NORML says people shouldn’t have to waive their Second Amendment rights to smoke marijuana.

However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that banning gun sales to medical marijuana users doesn’t violate their Second Amendment rights.

The Journal reported Sen. Murkowski wrote Attorney General Loretta Lynch earlier this year urging her to reconsider the policy.  A Justice Department spokesman told the Journal the department responded but did not reveal further details of the communication.

CONTINUE READING…

Appeals court upholds ban on gun sales to medical marijuana card holders

Published August 31, 2016

Associated Press

 

A federal government ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the 2nd Amendment, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.

The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals applies to the nine Western states that fall under the court’s jurisdiction, including California, Washington and Oregon.

It came in a lawsuit filed by S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada woman who tried to buy a firearm in 2011 after obtaining a medical marijuana card.

The gun store refused, citing the federal rule on the sale of firearms to illegal drug users.

Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told gun sellers they can assume a person with a medical marijuana card uses the drug.

The 9th Circuit in its 3-0 decision agreed that it’s reasonable for federal regulators to assume a medical marijuana card holder is more likely to use the drug.

In addition, a ban on the sale of guns to marijuana and other drug users is reasonable because the use of such drugs “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated,” Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff said.

The 9th Circuit also rejected other constitutional challenges to the ban that were raised by Wilson.

An email to Wilson’s attorney was not immediately returned.

CONTINUE READING…