Recently we discovered an MCRGO (MICHIGAN COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERS) article (https://mcrgo.org/) released in conjunction with Ammoland all about medical marijuana as well as just how it affects gun ownership and your concealed carry license. This is a very complex concern, as you can imagine, for a shooting sports news blog to tackle and cover, in full spectrum as well as with the proper information for the consumer. This write-up simply grazed the surface on the interaction of state and federal law, now that medical cannabis is lawful, as well as the connection in between marijuana possession and licensing in Michigan. Much of what was claimed is thought-provoking, however not 100% precise, so we chose to dispel the mistakes as well as give you a beneficial guide on your legal rights as a Michigan resident.
At the time the article was composed (2016 ), they couldn’t offer really conclusive solutions considering that much of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act and adhering to privileges of its cardholders, when it involves gun possession, was still a gray area in both federal and also state regulation. The connection between both subjects is extremely vital, since when applying to purchase a weapon, of any type of variety, you have to complete the License to Purchase form with the state, in accordance with federal regulation. On this form as well as the Concealed Permit License, you have to answer the question pertaining to possession and also use of marijuana as well as any other controlled substances like it. We believe there is some assistance from federal statute 18 U.S.C. § 922( g)( 3) relating to licenses and possession, yet it still does not make clear the problem extensively. The regulation states [anyone] “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” is not eligible for an LTP or CPL, which by reasoning this does not consist of legal MMC holders, indicating they are not restricted from having a firearm or ammo. Since this phrasing enables individuals that are following lawfully under state legislation, it can be suggested there need to be no obstacle to owning a weapon and holding a medical marijuana card at the same time. It can also be said that just by having the card does not imply you are in possession of or using cannabis as well as it’s subsequent products.
To be clear 922( g)( 3) is a governing law, yet it has subsequent amendments that must not be neglected. In particular 922( d)( 3 ), which deals directly with the sale of weapons, not just the screening process, and also it includes the clarifying phrase “having reasonable cause”. This stipulation is something that (g)( 3) does not add, even more clouding the subject. This distinction may not stand apart as a big obstacle, however it is vital in the debate whether or whether not MMMA card holders are eligible to hold a CCP.
In the article, by Ammoland as well as MCGRO, they mention “The ATF takes the position that anyone with an MMMA card is probably using and therefore not allowed to possess a firearm.” As mentioned prior to this is not an absolute truth, however in 2011 the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) released an open letter discussing how statues 922( d) and also 922( g) correlate, as well as are specified concerning states with legalized marijuana. Their stance is, as a federally licensed firearm dealer, the dealer may not offer to any person that is known to or as a matter of fact does possess a medical marijuana card, as this is reasonable cause, therefore the purchaser is ineligible according to 922( d). This is not to state they advised that cardholders not be able to legally have a weapon, since 922( g) does not have such a clause, yet it does ensure that the acquisition as well as sale of a weapon would certainly be frowned upon, otherwise considered a crime.
As the best scenario and case law we can offer, at this time, we then looked into the judgment of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This situation occurred back in August 2016, yet their decision is sound, a satisfactory description of the voids the statues leave. The case was Wilson v. Lynch, during which the 9th Circuit ruled opposing the ATF’s open letter from 2011. The Court said “Title 18 U.S.C. § 922( d)( 3 ), 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, and the Open Letter bar only the sale of firearms to Wilson– not her possession of firearms.” As this is a ruling from a circuit court, this is no more opinion, through process or conjecture, yet is now ruling case law.
Basically, it is the essential distinction that comes into play when purchasing weapons and also ammo, not in the possession of guns. The above judgment is narrow in its application, in a sense, it only applies to federal law (not state law) connecting to the sale, not possession, as well as simply to cardholders that are not users. This is why the federal form 4473, which covers the usage and also possession of marijuana as well as other controlled substances is still in use. So, if you are planning on getting a permit, apply for ones that only need to abide by state regulation and not federal, since federal law requires compliance with all statues.
Michigan law specifically lays out the exact standards you need to satisfy to be determined worthy of a License to Purchase a pistol or a CPL, the statues they comply with are MCL 28.422 and also MCL 28.425 b, specifically. The reason we advise to just apply on a state level versus a federal level is that neither 28.422 or 28.425 b include language comparable to the federal statutes, and also neither have limiting needs for MMC holders. If you are not guilty of violating any controlled substance laws, which would then make you disqualified for holding a medical marijuana card too, you are qualified for weapon ownership.
An additional part of the (https://mcrgo.org/) short article we intend to cover, that is not precise, is the fact that state licensing needs a NICS background check and hence that federal laws still need to be followed. This is inaccurate and false due to the fact that state licensing for medical marijuana is not included in the NICS search of your background. Once more your right to purchase is under scrutiny pertaining to the Wilson ruling, not your right to possess and own a firearm.
Ultimately, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MCL 333.26424) protects cardholders under section 4 from ever being “denied any right or privilege,” and considering that weapon ownership is a constitutional right, they can never rescind that right. To explain even more, the Act is initiated law, which means it can not be repealed, preempted, or modified without a supermajority (75% of the house and senate). This means that the Michigan licensing authority is statutorily banned from refuting a cardholder a License to Purchase a pistol or obtaining a concealed permit license.
In Summary The Key Points:
The Federal laws that control weapon sale and possession are 922(d) (sales) and (922(g)(possession).
Both Federal statutes consist of various requirements, and the 9th Circuit clarified the ‘grey’ area during the Wilson v. Lynch case in 2016.
The current understanding of the Federal legislation is construed in such a way as to forbid the sale of weapons to MMMA cardholders if the vendor has knowledge of the card.
Federal legislation does not have the authority to restrict possession of weapons for individuals who merely have an MMMA card, but are not making use of.
Because obtaining LTP and also cpl are state-based application they do not need to respond to the cannabis and controlled substance question.
State law prevents Michigan authorities from refuting any rights or advantages, such as possessing and acquiring a gun, to cardholders.
Bottom line: when somebody calls our office to ask if as an MMMA cardholder if it is still legal for them to buy and have guns the solution is Yes! Yes, you can, it is your right, and you have the ability to exercise that.