Recently we encountered an MCRGO (MICHIGAN COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE GUN OWNERS) article (https://mcrgo.org/) published in conjunction with Ammoland all about medical marijuana as well as exactly how it impacts gun possession as well as your concealed carry license. This is a very difficult issue, as you can imagine, for a shooting sports news blog to tackle and cover, in full spectrum and with the correct info for the customer. This write-up simply grazed the surface on the interaction of state and federal law, since medical marijuana is lawful, and also the relation in between marijuana possession and licensing in Michigan. Much of what was claimed is thought-provoking, but not 100% accurate, so we decided to dispel the errors as well as provide you a valuable guide on your civil liberties as a Michigan resident.
At the time the post was composed (2016 ), they could not offer really conclusive solutions because much of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act as well as complying with benefits of its cardholders, when it pertains to weapon possession, was still a grey area in both federal and state law. The correlation in between both subjects is very vital, since when applying to acquire a weapon, of any kind of variety, you need to fill out the License to Purchase form with the state, based on federal law. On this form and also the Concealed Permit License, you have to answer the question relating to possession and also use of marijuana as well as any kind of various other controlled substances like it. We believe there is some aid from federal statute 18 U.S.C. § 922( g)( 3) referring to licenses and also possession, but it still does not clear up the problem completely. The legislation mentions [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 lawful MMC owners, meaning they are not forbidden from having a weapon or ammo. Given that this wording allows for individuals that are following legally under state legislation, it can be argued there must be no barrier to owning a weapon and also holding a medical marijuana card simultaneously. It can also be argued that simply by having the card does not imply you are in possession of or using marijuana 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 ignored. Specifically 922( d)( 3 ), which deals directly with the sale of weapons, not simply the screening process, and also it includes the clarifying phrase “having reasonable cause”. This provision is something that (g)( 3) does not add, even more clouding the topic. This distinction may not stand apart as a huge obstacle, but it is important in the argument whether or whether not MMMA card holders are eligible to hold a CCP.
In the post, by Ammoland and also MCGRO, they specify “The ATF takes the position that anyone with an MMMA card is probably using and therefore not allowed to possess a firearm.” As discussed before this is not an absolute fact, but in 2011 the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) released an open letter explaining just how statues 922( d) as well as 922( g) correlate, as well as are specified referring to states with legalized cannabis. Their stance is, as a federally licensed firearm dealer, the supplier may not offer to anybody that is recognized to or actually does possess a medical marijuana card, as this is reasonable cause, and so the customer is disqualified according to 922( d). This is not to say they instructed that cardholders not be able to legally have a firearm, since 922( g) does not contain such a condition, yet it does ensure that the purchase as well as sale of a gun would be frowned upon, if not considered a violation.
As the best scenario and case law we can provide, at this time, we after that looked into the judgment of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. This situation happened back in August 2016, however their verdict is sound, an acceptable description of the voids the statues leave. The instance was Wilson v. Lynch, during which the 9th Circuit ruled opposing the ATF’s open letter from 2011. The Court stated “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 longer opinion, through process or conjecture, however is currently ruling case law.
Essentially, it is the fundamental difference that comes into play when buying weapons and also ammunition, not in the possession of firearms. 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 as well as possession of marijuana as well as other controlled substances is still in use. So, if you are intending on getting a permit, apply for ones that just have to adhere to state regulation and not federal, because federal law requires compliance with all statues.
Michigan law specifically lays out the exact requirements you need to meet to be determined worthy of a License to Purchase a pistol or a CPL, the statues they follow are MCL 28.422 as well as MCL 28.425 b, respectively. The reason we suggest to only apply on a state level versus a federal level is that neither 28.422 or 28.425 b consist of language equivalent to the federal laws, and neither have restrictive requirements for MMC holders. If you are not guilty of violating any controlled substance laws, which would then make you ineligible for holding a medical marijuana card also, you are eligible for weapon ownership.
One more part of the (https://mcrgo.org/) write-up we wish 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 complied with. 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 again 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) shields cardholders under section 4 from ever being “denied any right or privilege,” and because weapon possession is a constitutional right, they can never reverse that right. To discuss 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 suggests that the Michigan licensing authority is statutorily restricted from denying a cardholder a License to Purchase a pistol or obtaining a concealed permit license.
In Recap The Key Points:
The Federal laws that govern weapon sale and also possession are 922(d) (sales) as well as (922(g)(possession).
Both Federal laws have different standards, and the 9th Circuit cleared up the ‘grey’ area throughout the Wilson v. Lynch case in 2016.
The present understanding of the Federal regulation is interpreted in such a way as to ban the sale of firearms to MMMA cardholders if the vendor has knowledge of the card.
Federal regulation does not have the authority to restrict possession of firearms for people that simply have an MMMA card, yet are not making use of.
Given that requesting LTP and CPL are state-based application they do not require to answer the cannabis and controlled substance question.
State regulation prevents Michigan authorities from refuting any civil liberties or privileges, such as owning as well as acquiring 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 have firearms the solution is Yes! Yes, you can, it is your right, and you have the ability to exercise that.