A three-judge panel of the infamously liberal 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (also derisively known as the “ninth circus”) has ruled that a federal ban on on the sale of firearms to medical marijuana patients is constitutional.
A federal government ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the Second Amendment, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.
The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals applies to the nine Western states that fall under the court’s jurisdiction, including California, Washington and Oregon.
It came in a lawsuit filed by S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada woman who said she tried to buy a firearm for self-defense in 2011 after obtaining a medical marijuana card. The gun store refused, citing the federal rule banning the sale of firearms to illegal drug users.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told gun sellers they can assume a person with a medical marijuana card uses the drug.
The 9th Circuit in its 3-0 decision said Congress reasonably concluded that marijuana and other drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”
The court also concluded that it’s reasonable for federal regulators to assume a medical marijuana card holder was more likely to use the drug.
Wilson’s attorney, Chaz Rainey, said there needs to be more consistency in the application of the Second Amendment. He planned to appeal.
Sadly, I predicted two years ago that medical marijuana cards were a trap for law-abiding gun owners, and many people simply didn’t get the message.
This localized incident exposes a much bigger potential legal problem for all gun owners who also have a medical marijuana card, in any jurisdiction. The Richland police cited federal law that denies users of controlled substances the right to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms or ammunition in denying this woman her carry permit.
Law enforcement agencies could just as easily use the same federal statute to completely deny the Second Amendment rights of all medical marijuana card users in Washington and Colorado, or anywhere else where these cards as distributed.
All it would take is for the federal government to obtain a copy of the medical marijuana card databases in those areas that have such databases, and then start sending out federal agents to collect the guns of those who are listed. A model for this effort is California’s use of agents to confiscation guns of people identified by the Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS) system.
I’d advise gun owners to avoid medical marijuana cards at all costs. While there is no indication that there is an immediate plan to use these conflicting laws against gun owners, that could easily change overnight, especially under a federal government that never lets a good crisis go to waste.
Regardless of what some state laws may say about the use of medicinal marijuana, it is still illegal under federal law, and the Obama Administration has made it perfectly clear that since it lacks the constitutional authority to ban guns, that it will instead use every possible crease in federal law and regulations to to disenfranchise specific segments of the population as it can.