ATF to Minnesotans: Cannabis Use Prohibits You From Firearm Ownership

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives clarified after Minnesota’s recent legalization of adult-use cannabis that cannabis consumers are considered “unlawful users” of a controlled substance, and are therefore banned from owning or possessing firearms.

Full story after the jump.

Following the legalization of cannabis in Minnesota, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) clarified that cannabis consumers are still “federally defined as an ‘unlawful user’ of a controlled substance” and therefore “prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition.” 

In a statement, ATF’s Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeff Reed, of the St. Paul Field Division, said that until cannabis is federally legal, “firearms owners and possessors should be mindful that it remains federally illegal to mix marijuana with firearms and ammunition.” 

“As regulators of the firearms industry and enforcers of firearms laws, we felt it was important to remind Minnesotans of this distinction as the marijuana laws adjust here in the State of Minnesota.” — Reed in a statement 

In February, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled that the federal law barring people who use cannabis from owning firearms is unconstitutional. That decision is under appeal. In April, a federal judge in Texas made a similar ruling, and referenced the blanket federal cannabis possession possession by President Joe Biden (D), suggesting that, even if the defendant “were convicted of simple marijuana possession, that conviction would be expunged by the blanket presidential pardon of all such marijuana possessions that, like Connelly’s, took place before October 6, 2022.” 

A House bill introduced in April by Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) aims to end the prohibition of firearm sales to cannabis consumers in states that allow adult- and medical-use cannabis. That measure is currently in the House Committee on the Judiciary.  

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