ATF reinforces gun ban for marijuana users

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is clarifying its position on marijuana and reaffirming its stance against allowing MMJ patients and recreational users from owning firearms.

The ban could mean millions of dollars in lost sales for medical marijuana dispensaries in particular if patients decline to renew their MMJ cards so they purchase a gun. The warning could put a chill on some rec sales, too.

Form 4473, the federal Firearms Transaction Record, includes an updated reminder that gun buyer applicants should be aware marijuana remains illegal at the federal level – even when it’s legal at the state level – according to the Denver Post.

The ATF’s revised document goes into circulation on Jan. 16, 2017, with language explicitly stating “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.”

“Since more states have legalized medicinal and recreational marijuana use since 2012, ATF took the opportunity to clarify existing federal law regarding marijuana use and gun ownership,” Lisa Meiman, a public information officer at the ATF’s Denver Field Division, told the Post. “Nothing changed with the revisions. We sought to clarify, for both buyers and dealers, what the law was regarding marijuana use and firearm possession.”

The latest ATF announcement comes after a U.S.  court ruling earlier this year upheld a federal ban on gun sales to anyone holding a medical marijuana card. The ruling covered nine western states.