A federal government ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card (MMC) holders does not violate the 2nd Amendment says the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It came after a lawsuit was filed by S. Rowan Wilson, a Carson City, Nevada woman who tried to buy a firearm in 2011 and was denied because she has an MMC.
While medical marijuana is legal in Nevada, it is still illegal under federal law.
Because of this, the court claimed it’s reasonable for federal regulators to assume a MMC holder is more likely to use the drug. With that in mind, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has instructed gun sellers to ‘assume’ a person with a MMC uses the drug.
Back in October 2011, a Wilson tried to purchase a gun from a firearms retailer outside of Carson City. The owner of the store knew her and knew she had recently gotten an MMC from the state.
In March 2014, a District Court in Nevada granted the government’s motion to dismiss the case, noting that while the Second Amendment protects American’s right to bear arms, that ‘protection is not unlimited.’ Additionally, the lower court noted that marijuana users can get around the refusal of purchase by not using the drug.
Wilson argued that she never obtained marijuana using the card. She further stated that she only got it to show solidarity for the recent movement to legalize marijuana in Nevada. From that perspective it could be argued that her First Amendment right to free speech had also been violated.
In the end, in its 30-page ‘opinion,’ Circuit Judge Jed Rakoff acknowledged Wilson’s Second Amendment rights had been infringed but that the burden wasn’t “not severe.” He claims it limits only her ability to acquire new firearms, not her right to possess any she might already have.
In his end-around argument, Rakoff noted that Wilson “could have amassed legal firearms before acquiring a registry card,” and the laws she’s challenging “would not impede her right to keep her firearms or to use them to protect herself and her home.”
There was a time in our nation that if any part of a ruling violated the law, then that ruling would not stand. We’re now subjects of rulers who interpret law without regard to words like, “…shall not infringe.”