Marijuana & Guns: Federal Judge Rules Ban is Unconstitutional

Written by: The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata

Decision Could Allow Marijuana Users to Possess Guns

A federal judge out of Oklahoma has determined that a law banning a marijuana user from possessing a gun is unconstitutional. The decision is the latest in several attempts at expanding gun rights throughout the country.

At The Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata, we provide experienced representation for people who are facing criminal charges. We are known for our ability to get dismissals and reductions on cases. We fight for our clients to stay out of jail and to keep their freedoms. If you have been charged with a crime in Las Vegas, contact our office at (702) 366-0891 to get FREE legal advice. 

Are Marijuana Users Allowed to Possess a Firearm?

Prior to this year, federal law (18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3)) prohibited a person who is an unlawful user of a controlled substance to possess a firearm. 

On February 3, 2023, U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick granted a Motion to Dismiss an indictment against a man who possessed a firearm and was arrested for marijuana possession. The federal judge out of Oklahoma agreed with the man’s argument that the law was “unconstitutionally vague, in violation of the Due Process Clause.”

The Judge, according to Reuters, said that the law infringed on the man’s right to bear arms under the second amendment. Furthermore, Wyrick stated that marijuana use was "not in and of itself a violent, forceful, or threatening act," and therefore should not be used as a reason for prohibiting gun ownership.

Other Decisions Expanding Gun Rights

The recent decision comes after several that gun rights advocates have seen as a victory. The first was in June 2022, after a 6-3 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court which struck down a New York Law. Reuters noted that the conservative-leaning court struck down a state law that limited a person’s right to carry a concealed handgun outside of their home. 

Following the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, an appeals court out of New Orleans declared a federal law unconstitutional that prohibited individuals with a domestic violence restraining order from possessing a gun. 

Why Were Marijuana Users Prohibited from Gun Ownership?

Under 18 USC 922 (g), certain people known as “federally prohibited persons” are prevented from owning a firearm. The federally prohibited person list includes individuals who are unlawful users or addicted to a controlled substance. Under federal law, marijuana is considered a controlled substance.

Despite many states have legalized the recreational use and possession of marijuana, the federal government still deems it an illegal drug. Therefore, the law prohibiting users or those addicted to a controlled substance was applicable to people arrested for or found in possession of marijuana. The recent decision, however, deemed the law unconstitutionally vague. 

Were You Arrested in Las Vegas?

If you were arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm or a marijuana crime, contact our office at +17023660891 to schedule a free consultation. Get FREE legal advice. We can help you fight the charges. Call now to speak directly with a member of our legal team.

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