Guns and marijuana users don't go together, said a federal appeals court in upholding a ruling that medical pot users cannot buy weapons and affirming that "the Second Amendment does not protect the rights of unlawful drug users to bear arms."
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals three-judge panel in San Francisco on Wednesday set back the case of S. Rowan Wilson who was denied the purchase of a firearm in 2011 after she obtained a medical marijuana card in Nevada, said Reuters.
"The panel held that plaintiff's Second Amendment claims did not fall within the direct scope of United States v. Dugan, which held that the Second Amendment does not protect the rights of unlawful drug users to bear arms," said the court's ruling summary.
"… Applying intermediate scrutiny, the panel nevertheless held that the fit between the challenged provisions and the Government's substantial interest of violence prevention was reasonable, and therefore the district court did not err by dismissing the Second Amendment claim. The panel rejected plaintiff's claims that the challenged laws and Open Letter (issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to federal firearms licensees, which prevented plaintiff from purchasing a firearm) violated the First Amendment."
Wilson had claimed that although she had a medical marijuana card she did not use the drug. In her original lawsuit, she charged that her rights under the U.S. Constitution were violated by the ATF letter to gun dealers, said Reuters..
Medical marijuana is legal in Nevada and more than 20 other states, but the drug is still banned federally.
Wilson said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that she had not had a chance to read the appeals court opinion yet but added that there was "more to come."
Wilson's attorney, Charles Rainey, told Courthouse News Service he planned to "press on" with the case.
"We are going to litigate this, exhaust whatever remedies we have," Rainey said. "When this (ATF) letter was issued, it was issued as part of a deliberate attempt by the (U.S. Department of Justice) to quell a political movement."
Reuters said the National Rifle Association could not be reached for comment.
The Marijuana Policy Project said in a statement that "seriously ill patients who use medical marijuana should be treated the same as patients who use any other doctor-approved medication," noted Reuters.
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