Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Oklahoma?

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

Yes. According to Title 63 of the 2019 Oklahoma Statutes, a medical marijuana cardholder may not be denied the ability to purchase or carry a firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition. Therefore, Oklahoma medical marijuana patients can own guns legally in the state.

Can Oklahoma Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

Although the state still honors its concealed carry program for persons looking to use the conceal carry reciprocity provisions in other states, Oklahoma is now a permitless carry state. According to HB 2597, enacted in 2019, persons looking to obtain firearms are no longer required to obtain permits to conceal or open carry handguns. Therefore, MMJ patients in the state can legally carry firearms without permits.

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

Oklahoma does not make background checks compulsory for persons looking to purchase guns from private sellers. However, if you intend to purchase a gun from a federal firearm licensee (FFL), you must undergo a background check pursuant to federal provisions. FFLs use the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to conduct background checks.

Although the Oklahoma medical marijuana patient database is not shared with the NCIS, prospective gun buyers are required to confirm whether they are unlawful users of marijuana in the Firearms Transaction Records form. Lying on the form is a federal crime and is punishable by a $250,000 fine and 10 years imprisonment.

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

The language of Section 245A of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes is believed to override that of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act (SDA). The SDA states that an SDA license holder who subsequently becomes a medical marijuana patient license holder must surrender their SDA license via a Voluntary Surrender Form on the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation website.

However, with Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes protecting the gun rights of medical marijuana cardholders, you may be able to hold both licenses simultaneously.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Oklahoma

Oklahoma lawmakers have introduced different initiatives to protect the Second Amendment rights of medical marijuana cardholders. In March 2019, the Unity Bill was signed into law by Governor Kevin Stitt, explicitly stating that medical marijuana patients or caregivers should not face firearm ownership restrictions based solely on their status.

Furthermore, in November 2019, Oklahoma transitioned into a constitutional carry state via HB 2597, allowing individuals aged 21 or above to carry firearms openly or concealed without a permit. Another notable development came in February 2020 when the state senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 959, preventing the denial of concealed carry permits based on an individual's medical marijuana status, despite federal prohibition.

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

Although states are allowed to legalize marijuana in their jurisdictions, cannabis use and possession continue to be illegal on a federal level. Under the United States Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is considered a banned substance, and possession of even minor amounts can impact your other rights, including gun ownership.

The right to legally buy or possess a firearm is governed by the Gun Control Act of 1968. This Act requires that anyone using marijuana or another banned narcotic is illegal to buy or own a gun. The Act states that medical marijuana users are considered unlawful marijuana users since federal law considers marijuana to possess no medicinal value. In response to this, the ATF issued a letter to all federal firearms licensees, stating that gun sales to marijuana users, including medical marijuana users, are unlawful.

The federal disposition on gun rights for MMJ patients has raised eyebrows with multiple litigations arising across the country. One court challenge (Wilson v. Lynch case) to federal law and the ATF’s letter filed by a Nevada woman who was denied access to a firearm due to an MMJ patient status was dismissed by a U.S. District Court. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the federal position via its ruling in 2016, stating that the Gun Control Act did not violate Second Amendment rights.

The ATF has followed up on the federal court ruling by asking prospective gun buyers if they are unlawful users of or addicted to a controlled narcotic, such as marijuana, on Form 4473. Form 4473 is required for all prospective gun buyers. A statement also follows the marijuana status question, warning that the possession or use of marijuana remains unlawful per federal law, regardless of whether the drug has been legalized for medical use in the state where the prospective buyer resides.

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