While a number of new states recently voted to expand marijuana rights, many did not realize that this could directly conflict with their Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm.
That’s because federal law – specifically 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), which is part of the Gun Control Act – criminalizes the possession or receipt of a firearm by an unlawful drug user or person addicted to a controlled substance. Of course, many states have now legalized the drug, but it still remains outlawed by federal statute. Those purchasing a new firearm are asked to fill out federal background check forms that specifically ask whether the purchaser uses marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes. If they do, they are not allowed to purchase the gun.
This conflict was recently questioned by Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who says she didn’t vote in favor of marijuana, but now she is worried about its impact on the Second Amendment rights of citizens. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in Wilson v. Lynch that the Second Amendment rights of a Nevada woman were not infringed by the federal government’s ban on sales of guns to medical marijuana card holders. The ruling is applicable to nine other states, including California. Continue reading