Recently we encountered an MCRGO (MICHIGAN COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERS) article (https://mcrgo.org/) released along with Ammoland all about medical marijuana as well as just how it affects weapon possession as well as your concealed carry license. This is an extremely complex problem, as you can imagine, for a shooting sports news blog to tackle and cover, in full spectrum and with the right info for the customer. This post just grazed the surface on the interaction of state and federal law, now that medical marijuana is lawful, as well as the relationship between cannabis possession and licensing in Michigan. Much of what was claimed is thought-provoking, yet not 100% exact, so we made a decision to dispel the mistakes as well as give you a valuable guide on your legal rights as a Michigan citizen.
At the time the write-up was created (2016 ), they couldn’t provide really conclusive responses given that much of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act and complying with advantages of its cardholders, when it pertains to gun possession, was still a grey area in both federal and also state legislation. The connection between the two subjects is extremely crucial, since when applying to buy a weapon, of any type of variety, you need to complete the License to Purchase form with the state, based on federal law. On this form and also the Concealed Permit License, you need to answer the question pertaining to possession and also use cannabis and any type of various other controlled substances like it. We believe there is some aid from federal statute 18 U.S.C. § 922( g)( 3) relating to licenses and possession, yet it still does not clarify the concern extensively. The law 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 include legal MMC holders, meaning they are not prohibited from having a firearm or ammo. Considering that this wording enables people that are abiding lawfully under state regulation, it can be said there need to be no barrier to owning a weapon as well as holding a medical marijuana card at the same time. It can additionally be suggested that simply by possessing the card does not suggest you are in possession of or using cannabis and it’s subsequent products.
To be clear 922( g)( 3) is a governing law, yet it has subsequent amendments that ought to not be neglected. Specifically 922( d)( 3 ), which deals directly with the sale of weapons, not just the screening process, and it consists of the clarifying phrase “having reasonable cause”. This clause is something that (g)( 3) does not include, even more clouding the topic. This distinction might not stand out as a large obstacle, but it is critical in the debate whether or whether not MMMA card holders are eligible to hold a CCP.
In the post, by Ammoland and MCGRO, they state “The ATF takes the position that anyone with an MMMA card is probably using and therefore not allowed to possess a firearm.” As pointed out before this is not an absolute reality, yet in 2011 the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) released an open letter describing how statues 922( d) and also 922( g) associate, and also are defined relating to states with legalized marijuana. Their position is, as a federally licensed firearm dealer, the dealer may not sell to any person that is recognized to or in fact does have a medical marijuana card, as this is reasonable cause, therefore the purchaser is ineligible according to 922( d). This is not to claim they advised that cardholders not have the ability to lawfully have a firearm, because 922( g) does not have such a clause, yet it does ensure that the purchase and also sale of a gun would be frowned upon, otherwise considered an offense.
As the best scenario and case regulation we can provide, currently, we then checked out the ruling of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This case took place back in August 2016, but their verdict is sound, an adequate description of the voids the statues leave. The situation was Wilson v. Lynch, during which the 9th Circuit ruled opposing the ATF’s open letter from 2011. The Court claimed “Title 18 U.S.C. § 922( d)( 3 ), 27 C.F.R. § 478.11, as well as 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, however is currently ruling case law.
In essence, it is the essential distinction that comes into play when acquiring weapons and ammo, not in the possession of weapons. The above ruling is narrow in its application, in a sense, it only applies to federal law (not state law) relating to the sale, not possession, and also just to cardholders who are not users. This is why the federal form 4473, which covers the usage and also possession of cannabis and various other controlled substances is still in use. So, if you are planning on getting a license, apply for ones that only have to follow state law and not federal, since federal law needs compliance with all statues.
Michigan law specifically lays out the exact requirements you need to fulfill to be determined worthy of a License to Purchase a pistol or a CPL, the statues they adhere to are MCL 28.422 and MCL 28.425 b, respectively. The reason we recommend to only apply on a state level versus a federal level is that neither 28.422 or 28.425 b consist of language similar to the federal laws, as well as neither have restrictive needs for MMC holders. If you are not guilty of violating any controlled substance laws, which would certainly after that make you ineligible for holding a medical marijuana card too, you are qualified for firearm ownership.
Another component of the (https://mcrgo.org/) short article we want to cover, that is not accurate, 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 since state licensing for medical marijuana is not included in the NICS search of your background. Once again your right to purchase is under scrutiny pertaining to the Wilson ruling, not your right to possess and own a firearm.
Finally, the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MCL 333.26424) secures cardholders under section 4 from ever being “denied any right or privilege,” and considering that gun possession is a constitutional right, they can never rescind that right. To describe further, 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 indicates that the Michigan licensing authority is statutorily forbidden from denying 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 as well as possession are 922(d) (sales) and (922(g)(possession).
Both Federal laws contain different standards, and the 9th Circuit clarified the ‘grey’ area throughout the Wilson v. Lynch case in 2016.
The existing understanding of the Federal legislation is taken in such a way as to ban the sale of guns to MMMA cardholders if the seller 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, however are not using.
Considering that making an application for LTP and also CPL are state-based application they do not need to answer the cannabis and controlled substance question.
State regulation prevents Michigan authorities from rejecting any kind of civil liberties or privileges, such as having and also purchasing a firearm, to cardholders.
Bottom line: when someone calls our office to ask if as an Mmma cardholder if it is still lawful for them to purchase as well as possess weapons the response is Yes! Yes, you can, it is your right, and you have the ability to exercise that.