The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms ruled in 2011 that it’s illegal for registered medical marijuana patients to buy or own guns, according to The Daily Chronic. Now, a congressman from Colorado has introduced a bill seeking to override that ruling.
The bill, HR 3483, the Protecting Individual Liberties and States’ Rights Act, was introduced by Colorado Rep. Jared Polis and it was assigned to the House Judiciary Committee for review.
A summary of the bill indicates the proposal’s intent “to amend title 18, United States Code, to provide exceptions from the firearm prohibitions otherwise applicable in relation to marijuana if its possession is lawful under State law.”
The Weed Blog reports that the Federal Identification Card (FID), which allows citizens to buy guns and ammunition from retail outlets, states that FID card holders can’t, among other restrictions, use schedule I controlled substances, a legal classification created by the federal government in 1970 that cannabis was contentiously placed in.
“In a country where other medical patients don’t lose their Second Amendment rights — even those that are prescribed potent narcotics — what reason can justify law-abiding medical patients who legally use cannabis as a therapeutic from being denied a sacredly held constitutional right?” NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre stated.
The Daily Chronic also noted that at the time of the ATF’s ruling, Arthur Herbert, Assistant Director for Enforcement Programs and Services for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, wrote the following in a memo:
Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether or not his or her state has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or is addicted to a controlled substance and is prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.