Second Amendment Protection Act Seeks to Safeguard Medical Marijuana Users
Ben Ryder 04.22.19
Alexander Mooney, a Republican Congressmen from Virginia’s 2nd district, introduced the Second Amendment Protection Act earlier this month. The bill, H.R.2071, seeks to create an exemption for users of medical marijuana, that would currently be restricted from owning and/or purchasing a firearm. Many readers may remember that in January of 2017, the ATF updated form 4473 to include the following language:
The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside
That language was a direct response to the numerous States which have voted to allow medical marijuana or have legalized recreational marijuana. As of today, there are 24 States with some form of legal Medical Marijuana and 11 States that have legalized recreational marijuana in addition to Medical. While the topic of nationwide legalization is a hot button issue for many, it appears that a majority of voters in this country have a favorable view of Marijuana.
The Second Amendment Protection Act has a long way to before it is the law of the land and may face an uphill battle as Republicans have historically opposed any form of pro Marijuana legislation and Democrats generally oppose anything that could be considered a win for those whole value the 2nd amendment. While the changes being sought seem minimal, the impact on the estimated 2,132,777 medical users could be substantial.
In late 2017, a Hawaiian police department began issuing letters to those who both held a medical marijuana card and also possessed a registered firearm. The letters stated that the recipient had 30 days to surrender their firearms. The basis for their request, was that these individuals were in violation of a Federal statute that bars users of any illicit substance, even state-approved cannabis, from owning a firearm.
Without the protections for Medical Marijuana users that H.R.2071 would provide, it is conceivable that any State official could decide to use the same statute as the Hawaiian police to seek gun confiscation.
Do you think H.R.2071 or a bill like it should be adopted? Let us know in the comments below.