Medical Marijuana Cards, LTC’s and Firearms Possession

UPDATE: The 9th Circuit has upheld BATFE’s opinion that any person who uses marijuana for medicinal purposes is an unlawful user of controlled substances and prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.  Applying intermediate scrutiny, the Court held that this ban does not violate the 2nd Amendment.

Case can be read here:  https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2016/08/31/14-15700.pdf

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BATFE released a newsletter this summer reinforcing its position on the use of medical marijuana.

In short, BATFE has determined that any person who uses marijuana for medicinal purposes is an unlawful user of controlled substances and prohibited under Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.  BATFE has instructed FFL dealers to 1) inform customers to answer “yes” to question 11(e) on Form 4473 if they disclose that they hold a medicinal marijuana card and 2) withhold the transfer of firearms and ammunition to any person who they have reasonable cause to believe possesses a medical marijuana card.  BATFE’s position on medicinal marijuana was upheld by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Nevada in August of 2016.

The effect of medicinal marijuana cards on Massachusetts firearms licensing remains cloudy.  On one hand, G.L. c. 140, sec 131(e) requires a licensing authority to determine whether the possession of a firearm by an LTC applicant would be a violation of state or federal law.  On the other hand, the medicinal marijuana law states clearly that people who qualify for medicinal marijuana cards shall not be denied any right or privilege under state law.  There have been no published cases to date addressing this issue.  However, if you are denied an LTC or FID due to your possession of a medicinal marijuana card, please contact my office at (617) 383-4652.

The original 2011 ATF opinion can be read here:

https://www.atf.gov/file/60211/download

The June 2016 newsletter can be read here:

https://www.atf.gov/explosives/docs/newsletter/explosives-industry-newsletter-june-2016/download

Wilson v. Lynch, 2016 WL 4537376, ____ F.3d____ (2016) can be read here:

https://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2016/08/31/14-15700.pdf

A recent news article on this matter can be read here:

http://www.wbur.org/news/2018/07/16/massachusetts-marijuana-guns

 

2 thoughts on “Medical Marijuana Cards, LTC’s and Firearms Possession

  1. Robert

    Are there any arguments before the court either on a state or federal level regarding the lawful purchase and possession of Slide Fire Components aka Bump Stocks that have now been deemed illegal in MA in which the government of MA has required disposal of these items without
    compensation or in some cases have turned the law abiding citizens who have purchased these
    items into overnite Criminals? The law was passed in the dark of night by the Governor’s office without any opposing argument.

    Like

    1. jaguida

      Good afternoon-

      I am not aware of any pending legal challenges to the recent ban on “bump stocks”. If you are interested pursuing a case you may want to reach out to Commonwealth Second Amendment (“Comm2A”) to discuss (https://www.comm2a.org/) – j

      Like

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