Hold your Fire
Updated: Sep 24, 2018
PA is the 29th state to allow some form of legal cannabis. However, The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits anyone from possessing guns if they use or are addicted to cannabis. What does this mean for medical marijuana patients who are also gun-owners in the state of Pennsylvania? What does this mean for the future sale of guns for medical marijuana patients?
The Pennsylvania police commission stated it is illegal to possess a firearm and a medical marijuana card. Under Federal law marijuana is still illegal, therefore, it does not recognize any state’s medical marijuana program. This legal quagmire forces people to choose between having a medical marijuana card and being able to purchase guns.
When the medical marijuana program made its first debut, a list of patients were added to the state’s registry. This list was originally made for law enforcement. Patients raised their concerns about privacy and the State of Pennsylvania overturned that decision to make the list available to law enforcement. While patients are protected from law enforcement knowing they are on the list, gun retailers have this information readily available to them. A gun shop owner can use this list as a way to check and see if an applicant is on this list, prohibiting them from making a purchase. Form 4473 for firearm transactions must be filled out in order to purchase a firearm. Form 4473 specifically has a section where it is asked if the applicant is in the medical marijuana program, checking yes will result in the person being denied the sale and in addition, risk being arrested for a felony.
There is good news for current gun owners though, while you can’t purchase any new guns there have been no plans to “take-back” the guns that are currently out there. However, if you plan to buy a gun in the state of Pennsylvania and are registered in the medical marijuana program; you may not be able to purchase.