ATF: Illegal for Marijuana Users to Possess Guns Regardless of State Law

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) used the occasion of Minnesota legalizing recreational marijuana to note that marijuana use and firearms possession are not legally compatible.

The ATF’s St. Paul office tweeted:

Jeff Reed, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s St. Paul field office, noted, “Until marijuana is legalized federally, firearms owners and possessors should be mindful that it remains federally illegal to mix marijuana with firearms and ammunition. As regulators of the firearms industry and enforcers of firearms laws, we felt it was important to remind Minnesotans of this distinction as the marijuana laws adjust here in the State of Minnesota.”

A panel from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reached a very similar conclusion in a case brought in the wake of Nevada legalizing recreational marijuana use.

On August 31, 2016, Breitbart News reported the Ninth Circuit panel ruling unanimously in favor of a gun ban for marijuana users. Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff said banning firearms sales to marijuana users is “reasonable” because using the drug “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”

ATF Form 4473 of the firearm purchase background check process asks if the would-be firearm purchaser is “an unlawful user of…marijuana.” No one who answers “yes” to that question can purchase a gun.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010. and he holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mike Pence to Announce 2024 Presidential Campaign Next Week in Iowa

Republicans Cry Foul as Biden DOJ Targets West Virginia Governor’s Family