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Jan 18

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Pennsylvania State Police Say Medical Marijuana Users Must Turn In Guns

Pennsylvania State Police Say Medical Marijuana Users Must Turn In Guns

UPDATED!-- Thanks to the public outcry the Governor of pennsylvania has stepped in. The State police webpage has even been changed to remove the advisement to "turn in your firearms".

However we are not totally out of the woods on this issue. The updated information still says: 

 • It is unlawful for you to attempt to purchase a firearm under Federal law and you will be denied during your Pennsylvania State Police background check, due to prohibitions under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).
• It is unlawful under federal law for you to keep possession of any firearms which you owned or had in your possession prior to obtaining a medical marijuana card, and we recommend that you consult an attorney if you have any questions about your firearms.  Again, this is due to prohibitions under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).
• It is also unlawful for you to apply for, possess or renew a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearm (LTC), because you are “[a]n individual who is prohibited from possessing or acquiring a firearm under the statutes of the United States.” (see above).  The sheriff should not process your application if you truthfully indicate to the sheriff that you are the holder of a Medical Marijuana Card.  Additionally, you will be denied during the Pennsylvania State Police background check, which occurs as part of the LTC application or renewal process.

The Pennsylvania State Police have just made their attitude and intentions clear, when it comes to Medical Marijuana In the state and its not good. According to a recent update to the firearms section of the Pennsylvania State Police webpage, medical marijuana users will be banned from purchase of firearms. Not only from purchase but current legal owners of a firearm will be required to turn them in once they are placed on the Medical Marijuana Program.

The update to the PSP webpage reads as follows:

Information for Medical Marijuana Cardholders:

It is legal under Pennsylvania law for the holder of a validly issued patient Medical Marijuana Card to possess approved forms of medical marijuana.  However,  as per the United States Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) state legalization of medical marijuana is not recognized by the federal government;, and possession of a valid Medical Marijuana Card and/or the use of medical marijuana  defines you an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance”; and, therefore, prohibited by Federal law from the purchase or acquisition, possession or control of a firearm pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3), and 27 C.F.R. § 478.32(a)(3).
 
The BATFE’s statement is set forth in its September 21, 2011, Open Letter to all Federal Firearms Licensees, which states in part that “[t]herefore, any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana, regardless of whether his or her State has passed legislation authorizing marijuana use for medicinal purposes, is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance, and is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.” Click here for a copy of the Open Letter.  Likewise, the mere possession of a Medical Marijuana Card will give rise to an inference that you are an “unlawful user of or addicted to” a controlled substance, pursuant to 27 C.F.R. § 478.11.
 
If you are holder of a Medical Marijuana Card, it is important that you know:
 
• It is unlawful for you to attempt to purchase a firearm under Federal law and you will be denied during your Pennsylvania State Police background check, due to prohibitions under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).
• It is unlawful under federal law for you to keep possession of any firearms which you owned or had in your possession prior to obtaining a medical marijuana card, and we recommend that you consult an attorney if you have any questions about your firearms.  Again, this is due to prohibitions under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).
• It is also unlawful for you to apply for, possess or renew a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearm (LTC), because you are “[a]n individual who is prohibited from possessing or acquiring a firearm under the statutes of the United States.” (see above).  The sheriff should not process your application if you truthfully indicate to the sheriff that you are the holder of a Medical Marijuana Card.  Additionally, you will be denied during the Pennsylvania State Police background check, which occurs as part of the LTC application or renewal process. 

Pennsylvania State Representative Russ Diamond promptly posted an announcement about the news and his disagreement with the PSP.

"URGENT INFORMATION FOR FIREARMS OWNERS CONSIDERING PARTICIPATING IN PENNSYLVANIA'S MEDICAL CANNABIS PROGRAM (from the PA State Police)....."

"[Note from Rep. Diamond: I am a full supporter of both PA's medical cannabis program and the right to bear arms. I do not believe a patient who uses this medicine should be barred from owning firearms any more than anyone properly using any other medication. I assure you I will be working diligently with my colleagues to resolve this issue. That said, I believe federal congressional action is needed here.]"

Patrick K Nightingale, an attorney that specializes in PA marijuana laws has voiced his displeasure with the news as well.

"It is unfortunate that the Pennsylvania State Police has abdicated its role a a Pennsylvania law enforcement agency and has decided to mislead Pennsylvania's registered patients by suggesting State Troopers will be enforcing federal law. As the Pennsylvania State Police well know a patient is not prohibited from possessing a firearm under PA law merely for being registered. And as importantly the PA State Police know they have absolutely no jurisdiction to enforce federal law relative to firearm possession."

How ironic is it that the State police are ok with defying federal law regarding the use of marijuana but they are perfectly willing to enforce federal firearms laws?

Now is the time to speak out for our rights. we urge you to reach out to your state representative and tell them patients deserve the right to self defence. You can locate your representative by following the link HERE.

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Severin Freeman has been involved in activism for several years. He believes that all people should be treated totally equal and that no one has a higher claim to us or our freedom, than ourselves. He has played a role in the founding and growth of many activist groups across the Lehigh Valley area. His mission has become to expose those that would threaten our freedom and natural liberties.