ATF: Gun Purchases Barred
Even for 'Legalized' Marijuana Use

By AWR Hawkins. November 24th, 2016
Article Source

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) is clarifying language on background check form 4473 to let would-be gun buyers know that even "legalized" marijuana use bars them from purchasing a firearm.

The clarification comes in light of "the conflict between Colorado law and federal law," which results from the dichotomy of marijuana being legal at the state level but federally unlawful.

According to The Colorado Independent, the background check question still asks if the would-be gun buyer is "an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance." But this question is now followed by the following clarification:

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.

The clarification will begin appearing on background check form 4473 on January 16, 2017.

Colorado is not the only state where a conflict between state and federal law has highlighted the prohibition against marijuana users purchasing guns. Nevada's medical marijuana card system has also brought the issue front and center. On August 31, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that marijuana card holders at the state level are barred from gun purchases. That decision resulted from a suit filed by S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada resident who was denied a firearm purchase in 2011 "after obtaining a medical marijuana card."

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of "Bullets with AWR Hawkins," a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at

The absurd aspect of a Marijuana gun ban is that, depending on your view, 'pot' is no worse than alcohol. The latter has to be used responsibly, the same as any other potential depressant but the key word used is ''controlled'' substance and so alcohol gets a pass. We have to also take into account people who legitimately have to take strong pain medications and yet those are ''controlled''. Medical Marijuana has enormous potential for some conditions - often being used in a purified form instead of being smoked. Denying a legitimate user their gun rights is a major infringement.

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