A federal judge in Oklahoma has ruled that a federal law prohibiting people who use marijuana from owning firearms is unconstitutional, the latest challenge to firearms regulations after the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority set new standards for reviewing the nation’s gun laws.
Lawyers for Jared Michael Harrison had argued that their client's Second Amendment right to bear arms was being violated by a federal law that makes it illegal for “unlawful users or addicts of controlled substances” to possess firearms.
The Department of Justice has issued a new advisory requiring gun dealers in one state to conduct federal background checks on all unlicensed gun buyers because existing policies, the government argues, have enabled “habitual marijuana users” and other disqualified individuals to obtain firearms illegally.
Though cannabis is legal for adults under Michigan state law, it remains a restricted Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act. Consequently, consumers of marijuana have been forbidden from purchasing or possessing firearms.