Gun Laws & Legislation

Federal Judge Strikes Down Law That Blocks Marijuana Users From Owning A Firearm

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Bronson Winslow Second Amendment & Politics Reporter
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A federal judge ruled Friday that the law blocking marijuana users from owning firearms is unconstitutional after a landmark SCOTUS case established new precedent for gun laws in June.

U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick, an appointee of former President Donald Trump, issued the ruling after dismissing an indictment against a man who previously violated the ban, saying the law was an infringement of his right to bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, according the ruling in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. Wyrick ruled that the government can block dangerous individuals from gun ownership, but argued that simply using marijuana does not justify losing Second Amendment rights, noting that marijuana use is “not in and of itself a violent, forceful, or threatening act.”

“And so here we are, with the federal government now arguing that Harrison’s mere status as a user of marijuana justifies stripping him of his fundamental right to possess a firearm. For all the reasons given above, this is not a constitutionally permissible means of disarming Harrison,” Wyrick wrote. (RELATED: Federal Judge Partially Restrains New Jersey’s ‘Unconstitutional’ Concealed Carry Law For Second Time)

The landmark SCOTUS case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen (NYSRPA v. Bruen), established a precedent for gun laws in June, saying all gun laws must fit within the historical tradition of firearm regulation. Defendant Jared Harrison argued that the ban on marijuana users did not fit the historical tradition and infringed on his constitutional rights, according to the ruling.

On Feb. 3, a federal appeals court issued a similar ruling, choosing to strike down a decades-old gun law that blocked people under domestic violence protection orders from possessing firearms. The three-judge panel argued that the law was unconstitutional under precedent set in the NYSRPA v. Bruen case.

The law, which blocked the transfer of a firearm to anyone who was placed under a court protective order, was ruled unconstitutional, as it did not fit “within our Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation,” the judges wrote in the ruling.

Many gun laws were challenged and changed following the NYSRPA v. Bruen ruling, with laws in New York, California, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington and Illinois receiving scrutiny from legislators and activists, as many said they were unconstitutional under the new precedent.

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