When there’s a policy development that affects gun rights you can usually count on the National Rifle Association (NRA) to have something to say about it.
But the firearms lobby’s most powerful organization had nothing to say this week after a federal court upheld a policy preventing medical marijuana patients from purchasing guns.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported:
Representatives of the National Rifle Association weren’t available for comment.
And a Reuters report said:
A representative for the National Rifle Association could not immediately be reached for comment.
While the NRA’s news channel has since tweeted a few links to news articles about the ruling, the organization has not issued any commentary about its position on the matter.
— NRATV (@nranews) August 31, 2016
— NRATV (@nranews) August 31, 2016
— NRATV (@nranews) September 1, 2016
The Wednesday ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concerns a U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive policy that requires people purchasing guns from federally licensed dealers to fill out a form which asks, “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana, or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance?”
A Nevada woman, S. Rowan Wilson, sued after a gun shop owner who knew she was a registered medical marijuana patient refused to sell her a firearm.
“It may be argued that medical marijuana users are less likely to commit violent crimes, as they often suffer from debilitating illnesses, for which marijuana may be an effective palliative. They also may be less likely than other illegal drug users to interact with law enforcement officers or make purchases through illicit channels,” the court said. “But those hypotheses are not sufficient to overcome Congress’s reasonable conclusion that the use of such drugs raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”
Wilson argued that she doesn’t actually use medical marijuana even though she has a doctor’s recommendation to do so, but the court wasn’t swayed.
Her attorney told the Associated Press that they will appeal the case, possibly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Perhaps at that point the nation’s leading gun rights organization will see fit to weigh in.
Last year, the NRA spoke out against what is saw as the Obama administration’s favoring marijuana businesses over gun businesses. Gun rights advocates have criticized Operation Choke Point, a federal program that they believe is intended to pressure banks not to do business with legitimate firearms and ammunition retailers. At the same time, the administration has issued memos intended to make it easier for marijuana businesses that are illegal under federal law to access banking services.
A post on the organization’s Institute for Legislative Action site said, “The administration’s position seems to be that it will ignore unlawful activity it doesn’t agree with, while attacking lawful activity it finds objectionable.”
In the meantime, an influential member of the U.S. Senate has been pressuring the federal government to change its policy of denying gun rights to people who use marijuana legally in accordance with state laws.
“It is my judgement that denying Americans the personal Second Amendment right to possess firearms as articulated by the Supreme Court…for mere use of marijuana pursuant to state law is arbitrarily overbroad and should be narrowed,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) wrote to the Justice Department in March.
And another prominent gun rights supporter is already speaking out against this week’s ruling.
Donald Trump Jr., a hunting enthusiast and son of the Republican presidential nominee, took to Twitter to criticize the court’s decision.
What about those taking other prescription medications? Where's the line? Just another chip off the block of Liberty https://t.co/ishv7PA0qe
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) August 31, 2016
Photo Courtesy of Allie Beckett.