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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

ATF Clarifies: Medical Marijuana Users May Not Buy Guns

By Danny Fenster

Take your pick: Medical marijuana or a gun, but not both.

Responding to multiple questions from federally licensed gun sellers, the ATF wrote an open letter declaring it illegal to knowingly sell firearms to medical marijuana users.

The confusion arrises out of differing legal schemes regarding medical marijuana. Federal law prohibits selling firearms to any “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.” Because marijuana is a federally controlled substance, and because there are no federal exemptions for medicinal use, ATF policy is that it is illegal to sell to users of marijuana, the letter says.

“Any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition,” the letter states.

“Our advice to FFL’s or Federal Firearm Licensees is that if you are aware that this person is a user of marijuana, then you should not go ahead with the sale of that firearm,” Brad Beyersdorf, ATF Special Agent and PIO for the Denver Field Division told KPAX, of Missoula, Mont. The Denver division covers the state of Montana as well.

You can read the letter here.

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