While the Second Amendment provides “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” as multiple attacks illustrate over the years, infringing on the right to bear arms is the government’s mission. From bump stock bans to “assault weapons” bans, the state continues to chisel away at your ability to protect yourself and your family.
Outside of outright physical bans, government also uses underhanded tactics to limit your right to self-defense. One of those tactics is the Gun Control Act of 1968 which prohibits anyone who is “an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” from owning or possessing a firearm.
While you may not be addicted to or using any substance illegally — in your state — thanks to the federal government classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, if you use cannabis, even legally, you cannot own a gun… legally.
When marijuana legalization began to take hold in the United States around a decade ago, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives sent an open letter to all licensed firearms dealers in 2011 stating that medical marijuana cardholders cannot purchase firearms.
This letter required gun store owners to now ask if a customer is “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana.” It was was easy to answer “no” to this question in states with medical programs as prescribed marijuana patients weren’t “unlawful” users. But in 2016, the feds sought to close this loophole when Rowan Wilson attempted to buy a firearm but was denied because the store owner knew she recently obtained a medical marijuana prescription.
When the 2011 ATF letter was challenged in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit by Wilson, the court found that any person who uses marijuana at all — is barred from owning or purchasing a firearm.
“[A]ny person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition,” the court wrote in Wilson v. Lynch.
With that case, any person who consumes cannabis and also receives, possesses, or purchases a firearm — is committing a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. What’s more, if you lie on the federal form which asks you about your marijuana use, you are also a felon.
According to U.S. Attorney Kennedy’s office, if the person is in fact a marijuana user and lies on that ATF form by answering “no,” then they have committed a federal crime in violation of the US Code and if prosecuted, could lead to a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
To sum up this insanity, if you’ve purchased a firearm recently and failed to disclose your marijuana use, according to the US government, you have committed at least two felonies which could land you in a cage for the next 20 years.
This likely applies to millions of individuals, which is why the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and three Florida residents filed a suit earlier this year to challenge the law once again. In Fried et al. v. Garland et al., Case No. 4:22-cv-00164, Nikki Fried, the only Democrat among Florida’s statewide elected officials, is fighting for your right to be a responsible gun owner and a responsible weed smoker.
She is receiving support from Gov. Ron DeSantis as well who recently said, “Floridians should not be deprived of a constitutional right for using a medication lawfully.”
We agree. However, our agreeance doesn’t mean that feds won’t swoop down at any time and start locking up pot smoking gun owners. Hopefully, this bipartisan resistance to anti-gun legislators is greater than the desire for the Biden admin to go after gun owners who partake in cannabis — otherwise, there could be a major problem.