Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in West Virginia?

Can You Own a Gun with a Medical Card in West Virginia?

No. West Virginia complies with the federal law that prohibits medical marijuana users from possessing firearms. As a result, gun ownership is illegal for medical cannabis patients in the state.

Can West Virginia Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

It is illegal for registered medical marijuana patients to possess or carry firearms in compliance with federal law. However, open carry legislation in the state authorizes law-abiding and eligible citizens to possess firearms without permits.

Does West Virginia Require Background Checks for MMJ Patients Seeking Gun Licenses?

No. West Virginians using medical cannabis are not permitted to own firearms. However, eligible residents must consent to criminal history record checks before acquiring firearms from licensed firearms dealers.

Can You Get a West Virginia Medical Marijuana Card After Getting a Gun License?

Qualifying individuals who meet the requirements for medical marijuana cards can obtain them after getting their gun licenses. However, their medical marijuana cards will invalidate their firearm licenses. Nonetheless, patients may obtain permits to possess firearms after their medical marijuana cards expire. The spouses of medical marijuana cardholders who are not unlawful users are permitted to own firearms in West Virginia.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in West Virginia

It is unlawful for a user of controlled substances categorized in Schedule I or II of the Drug Control Act to possess a firearm at the same time in West Virginia. A breach of this provision is considered a separate and independent Class 6 felony.

What Federal Law Says About the Firearm Rights of Medical Marijuana Users

The sale of firearms to controlled substance users in the United States is prohibited under the Gun Control Act of 1968. The Controlled Substances Act currently lists marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance. So, it is unlawful for medical marijuana patients to possess firearms under federal law.

Prospective gun purchasers are required to complete the Firearms Transaction Record form (ATF Form 4473) while buying firearms from licensed dealers. In section 21(f) of the form, buyers must indicate whether or not they use cannabis. If a marijuana user responds "yes" to this section, they are not allowed to buy guns. If they respond "no" and get the gun illegally, they could face a heavy fine in addition to up to 10 years in federal prison.

In 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) reminded licensed gun dealers through an open letter that marijuana users are not allowed to buy firearms in the United States. In compliance with this letter, a licensed gun dealer declined to sell a firearm to a medical marijuana cardholder in Nevada in 2016. In the Wilson v. Lynch case, the cardholder then contested the statute that barred her from owning a firearm. Rowan Wilson, the complainant, claimed that this law infringed upon her freedom to keep and bear guns as stipulated in the Second Amendment. However, the court rejected the plaintiff's argument and upheld the federal statute that forbids medical marijuana cardholders from possessing or owning firearms.

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