Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Maine?

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

No. Under Maine laws, it is illegal for medical marijuana patients to own guns. As stipulated in 15 M.R.S.A. §393(G), anyone prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal laws is prohibited from owning or possessing a gun in Maine.

Can Maine Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

No. Maine laws prohibit medical marijuana patients from carrying guns.

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

No. Maine laws do not permit gun ownership for medical marijuana patients.

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

No. In Maine, getting a medical marijuana card invalidates any current gun license the cardholder may have. However, a cannabis patient can get a gun after their medical cannabis card expires. Also, spouses of medical cannabis patients can own guns in Maine. However, they must keep such firearms locked away to avoid undue access by medical cannabis patients.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Maine

Title 15, Chapter 15 of the Maine Revised Statutes prohibits the usage of guns by medical marijuana patients. In 2019, Richard Tonini, a registered medical marijuana patient who was apprehended by the police with firearms, challenged this law before the United States Supreme Court in the Maine v. Tonini case. Richard argued that the Maine law prohibiting the possession of firearms by medical marijuana users was an unconstitutionally vague criminal statute. However, the Supreme Court rejected his argument and found him guilty of possessing firearms.

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

The U.S. Federal stance on gun ownership rights is contained in the Gun Control Act of 1968. This Act prohibits users of controlled substances, including medical marijuana users, from possessing or using firearms. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), which is responsible for overseeing federal gun regulations, enforces this rule.

When purchasing firearms, buyers are expected to fill the Firearms Transaction records (ATF Form 4473). This form requires prospective gun purchasers to self-disclose whether they are “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance”. Marijuana users who self-disclose under this form will be prohibited from purchasing firearms. On the other hand, failure to self-disclose may subject purchasers who are MMJ patients to fines and/or up to 10 years imprisonment as stipulated in Section 924 of the Gun Control Act.

Attempts have been made in the past to challenge this law prohibiting MMJ patients from possessing and using firearms in the contention that it is against their Second Amendment rights. One such notable attempt is in the Wilson v. Lynch case, where, in compliance with a letter issued by the ATF, a firearms dealer refused to sell the plaintiff a firearm because she possessed a medical marijuana card. The plaintiff then filed a suit challenging the laws that prevented her from buying a gun. The court rejected the plaintiff’s argument and dismissed the case.

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