The feds have never liked the fact that several states – sixteen plus DC and counting – have legalized marijuana use for medical purposes. All that locally legal glaucoma mitigation has been a burr under the DOJ’s saddle for long time and the chronic is still a schedule I controlled substance under federal law. Now, someone at the ATF has woken up long enough to issue a new policy regarding legally prescribed ganja and guns…
Arthur Herbert, the ATF’s Assistant Director of Enforcement of Programs and Services issued a letter to all FFLs explaining the new rules of the game. And it appears the ATF is putting some of the onus for determining who’s smoking the jibber on your friendly neighborhood gun dealer.
Federal law…makes it unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance. As provided by 27 C.F.R. Sec. 478.11, “an inference of current use may be drawn from evidence of a recent use or possession of a controlled substance or a pattern of use or possession that reasonably covers the present time.”
[emphasis in above quote in the original]
So next time you belly up to the gun counter ready to pay for that 10/22 (or even a box of .22LR ammo, for that matter) don’t be surprised if your formerly friendly gun seller asks you to lift those tinted glasses and gives your clothing a sniff to see if you reek.
As you might imagine, this has made for an odd opposition alliance of both second amendment and medical marijuana rights supporters.
Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, and Kate Cholewa and Chris Lindsey, board members of Montana Cannabis Industry Association, separately blasted the Sept. 21 letter sent by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the U.S. Justice Department to federally licensed firearms dealers.
“It is egregious that people may be sentenced to years in a federal prison only because they possessed a firearm while using a state-approved medicine,” Marbut said in a statement from the association.
Cholewa said: “In fact, the policy goes so far as to say even being in possession of a medical cannabis card forfeits a citizen’s Second Amendment rights whether or not that person ever followed through and used cannabis for their condition.”
So now, thanks to the famously scrupulous legal enforcement efforts of the ATF and the Holder DOJ (*cough cough*) chemo patients will now have to make a choice between being able to defend themselves and keeping breakfast down. The administration must be so proud.
In the mean time, TTAG will do its part by lighting a fire under RF to keep up the pressure with more Death Watch posts. Our friends at the ATF can’t be disbanded soon enough.