Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Louisiana?

Can You Own a Gun with a Medical Card in Louisiana?

No, federal law prohibits medical marijuana cardholders in Louisiana from owning guns.

Can Louisiana Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

Medical marijuana patients in Louisiana cannot legally carry firearms due to federal laws that prohibit cannabis users from owning firearms. However, eligible residents can openly carry firearms without permits, except if it violates state laws. They must obtain the necessary permits to carry concealed firearms.

Does Louisiana Require Background Checks for MMJ Patients Seeking Gun Licenses?

Federal laws prohibit gun ownership for medical marijuana patients in Louisiana. However, licensed firearms dealers in the state must conduct background checks before selling guns to eligible residents. The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections also performs background checks on residents who apply for concealed handgun permits. The department uses the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System and available online state records to conduct background checks. Local police departments may also contact applicants for additional information.

Can You Get a Louisiana Medical Marijuana Card After Getting a Gun License?

In Louisiana, getting a medical marijuana card makes a patient ineligible to legally own a gun due to federal restrictions on gun ownership for cannabis users. However, such individuals can legally own guns or get licensed for concealed carry after their medical cannabis cards expire. The spouse of a medical marijuana cardholder in Louisiana can legally own a gun as long as it is not accessible to the patient.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Louisiana

Federal law prohibits anyone who uses controlled substances from possessing firearms or ammunition. This federal prohibition hinders gun ownership rights for medical marijuana patients in Louisiana. Louisiana laws do not expressly prohibit MMJ patients from gun ownership, but there are also no laws protecting MMJ patients who choose to possess firearms. Hence, Louisiana does not guarantee the Second Amendment rights of marijuana users in the state.

What Federal Law Says About the Firearm Rights of Medical Marijuana Users

The Gun Control Act of 1968 regulates firearm ownership in the United States and makes it illegal for specific individuals to possess firearms or ammunition. The list of prohibited individuals includes users of any controlled substance outlined in the Controlled Substances Act. Since marijuana is considered a Schedule I controlled substance, gun ownership is illegal for all marijuana users. As a result, medical marijuana users cannot lawfully own firearms under federal laws.

Several states have legalized marijuana, but federal laws may prevent residents who legally use marijuana in such states from owning firearms. A 2011 letter by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) reiterated that marijuana use is prohibited for anyone who possesses a firearm or ammunition, regardless of state legislation. In 2016, the Wilson v. Lynch case challenged the federal laws on firearm ownership for medical marijuana users. The plaintiff contested the ban after a firearms dealer refused to sell her a gun because she possessed a medical marijuana registry card. However, the court ruled against the plaintiff and stated that the federal ban on gun sales to MMJ cardholders did not violate the Second Amendment rights.

Anyone purchasing a gun from a licensed firearm dealer must complete Form 4473 (Firearms Transaction Records). Question 21(f) asks about the unlawful use of controlled substances and includes a warning that marijuana remains illegal under federal laws, regardless of its status under state law. Ticking the "yes" box in this section may result in the automatic denial of firearm purchases. Lying about cannabis use as a marijuana patient by checking the “no” box while purchasing a gun is a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment in federal prison.

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