Like a number of states, concealed pistol license holders in Michigan are exempted from the requirement to undergo a NICS background check every time they purchase a new firearm. That’s because permit holders have already undergone an extensive background check and fingerprinting in order to be issued a permit in the first place.
Michigan has had that exemption from the ATF since 2006, but yesterday the ATF rescinded it.
Why? Because recreational marijuana is now legal in the state. Voters approved legalization in 2018 and retail sales started December 1, 2019.
While buying and using weed may not be a state crime in the big mitten, it’s still illegal as far as the feds are concerned.
You can get a medical marijuana card for purchasing through dispensaries and the state doesn’t penalize CPL holders for having one. It’s also legal to grow small amounts yourself and possess certain quantities. As far as the state of Michigan is concerned, marijuana use isn’t a disqualifier for gun possession or concealed carry.
Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.
In short the ATF doesn’t care that weed is now legal in Michigan…it’s still a Schedule I federally controlled substance.
Now, because the state of Michigan is issuing CPLs to people who use marijuana, the ATF sent the following letter yesterday notifying all of the state’s FFLs that Michigan CPL holders are no longer exempted from the background check requirement.
We talked to Michigander and TTAG contributor Josh Wayner who holds a CPL about the change. He isn’t happy.
This new advisory by the ATF is yet again an assault on Michigan’s state sovereignty and singularly targets the most law-abiding among us. The citizens of Michigan voted to legalize marijuana in our state, and as a result of federal overreach, the government has decided to put upstanding citizens, who have the lowest rate of crime here, under the microscope for doing what is legal here if they choose to.
It is ridiculous to require a person to get an extensive background check and criminal history review as well as fingerprints to get a CPL, only to have them waste time and money getting checked again and again when the state already revokes CPLs for any number of crimes. If you mess up, you already lose the ability to use your CPL in place of a background check.
This is a redundant abuse that only targets the most legitimate among us. Note that the ATF doesn’t seem to care about private sales here. They are inadvertently going to drive more gun sales off the radar with this stupid power move.