ATF Says Medical Marijuana Patients Don’t Have The Right To Own A Gun

Image Credit:  NWMJ Law

Image Credit: NWMJ Law

Yesterday, a federal appeals court upheld the decision that bans the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders.  According to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, this does not violate these patients second amendment rights.

In 2011, S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada medical marijuana card holder, was denied the sale of a gun she was trying to purchase for personal protection.  The firearms retailer cited the federal rule banning the sale of guns to illegal drug users.  Wilson filed a lawsuit, but because marijuana remains illegal on a federal level, she lost, as the ATF has advised gun sellers that it is in their right to assume an MMJ card holder uses marijuana.

The 9th Circuit Court voted 3-0, and said that Congress reasonably concluded that marijuana “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”  According to Wilson’s attorney, Chaz Rainey, “We live in a world where having a medical marijuana card is enough to say you don’t get a gun, but if you’re on the no-fly list, your constitutional right is still protected.”

Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws said, “Responsible adults who use cannabis in a manner that is compliant with the laws of their states ought to receive the same legal rights and protections as other citizens.”

It is important to note that this ruling is only applied to the nine Western states that fall under the court’s jurisdiction and is not a nationwide mandate.  However, Washington and Oregon are included in these nine states, as well as California, where not only medical marijuana is legal, but recreational marijuana is up for vote in November.  Also, we are curious as to what this means for recreationally legal states in the U.S..