Question 11(e) on Form 4473 asks the gun buyer if they are “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana … or any other controlled substance?” Last week, the US Government added the following statement below question 11.
“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.”
“It’s really a ‘Guys, we mean it’ kind of statement,” David Boyer, who managed the campaign to legalize recreational marijuana in Maine, said of the revision. “It is putting a lot of people in an uncomfortable position by either not letting them own a gun for hunting or self-defense, or lying so they can have a gun for protection or hunting.”
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last August that the ban on sales of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the Second Amendment. The court ruled that Congress reasonably concluded that marijuana “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.” The court also concluded that it’s reasonable for regulators to assume medical marijuana card holders use marijuana.
The ATF clarified in a 2011 memo to gun dealers that the law applies to marijuana users regardless of whether the state in which they live has passed legislation allowing marijuana use for medicinal purposes.