Tampa Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

Your legal gun isn’t legal if you use marijuana at all

Jan 3, 2018 | Drug Charges

It’s highly doubtful that anyone involved in the creation of the Constitution or the Second Amendment would have any way of knowing the challenges modern society faces. That fact is clear in the constantly waging social battle over gun control and gun ownership laws.

Gun control advocates often state that the Constitution came from an age where a firearm could not kill dozens in a few seconds. Gun rights advocates, on the other hand, point to the clear language that shows the intent was to allow essentially unrestricted access to these powerful tools of self-defense. Unfortunately, the federal government has taken a stance on firearms, in some cases, that could reduce or eliminate Second Amendment protections for some citizens.

Federal prohibition of drugs impacts the law

A 2011 letter sent out by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) asserted that no one who uses marijuana can legally own a gun. The Federal Code in question, 18 U.S.C. 922 § (g)(3) states that anyone with an addiction to controlled substances may not possess a firearm or ammunition. In fact, anyone who uses controlled substances at all may not own a gun.

Even in states with legal medical or recreational marijuana, federal law still prohibits the substance. Some states have gone so far as to contact medical marijuana patients to ask them to surrender legally licensed weapons. While Florida has not legalized marijuana for recreational use, there are a number of people in the state who use the substance for medical or recreational purposes. Those who do so and also own a firearm could end up facing serious weapons charges for their guns if they get caught by law enforcement.

You could end up facing federal charges in some cases

While many cases involving gun charges combined with marijuana offenses result in plea deals that may drop the gun charge if the accused surrenders the weapon, sometimes that is not the case. Those who get caught in possession of marijuana and a firearm could end up facing very serious criminal charges as a result. Depending on the circumstances, the drug charge could be a state offense while the gun charge could be a federal one.

You don’t need to walk around with a concealed weapon and marijuana at the same time to find yourself in this situation. Even if your firearms and ammunition are carefully stored in a locked gun safe at the time of your arrest, you could end up facing serious gun charges just for owning them. If you find yourself facing the dangerous combination of firearms and drug charges at the same time, you need to carefully consider your options for a defense.


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