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.
The case can be read here:
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:
The June 2016 newsletter can be read here:
Wilson v. Lynch, 2016 WL 4537376, ____ F.3d____ (2016) can be read here:
A recent news article on this matter can be read here:
8 thoughts on “Medical Marijuana Cards, LTC’s and Firearms Possession”
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.
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
I was given approval by a doctor yesterday for my medical card. I now need to apply for registration with the state but am already a registered gun owner. Will this cause my application to be denied or does the issue only come up for patients who are trying to apply for LTC/purchase a firearm after receiving a medical card?
Good afternoon- thank you for your question, hopefully my answer will help other people as well.
We know that medical marijuana card holders are prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law. The general consensus in Massachusetts is that police departments should not deny a firearms license based upon the issuance of a medical marijuana card. However, this position may change if Massachusetts attempts to conform with federal law.
This situation is being monitored by 2nd Amendment rights groups in Massachusetts. It is important to contact my office if an LTC/FID denial occurs due to the issuance of a medical marijuana card.
it appears that it’s very easy for anyone who has a medical marijuana card to get an FID card in Massachusetts either because of corrupt quid pro quo in the upper tears of government as well as the lower tears of government or a very broken system because there are hundreds of people in the state with medical marijuana cards and FID cards who are clearly in violation of federal laws with supersede state laws. sadly those that I have met or been acquainted with who possess both an FID and MMT Card I TYPICALLY CRIMINAL AND BREAKING THE LAW OR HAVE A HABIT OR HISTORY OF BREAKING THE LAWS.
Hi David – interestingly enough, federal laws do not “supersede” individual state guns laws. States are permitted to regulate firearms as they see fit.
I have had an LTC for about 1yr and do not carry or barely go to the range. I was recently approved for a MMJ card by my Doctor. After doing further research, I see that there are discrepancies in having both. I am freaking out now! What should I do in this case?! Not renew my LTC when it’s time? Not use the MMJ card?! Please help.
I have provided guidance for medical marijuana users on my website.