NRA Silent On Medical Marijuana Patients’ Gun Rights | Marijuana

NRA Silent On Medical Marijuana Patients’ Gun Rights


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.

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.

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.

Photo Courtesy of Allie Beckett.

About Author

Tom Angell covers policy and politics for Separately, he serves as chairman of the nonprofit organization Marijuana Majority, which works to ensure that elected officials and the media treat legalization as a serious, mainstream issue. Marijuana Majority led the effort to get the U.S. Conference of Mayors to pass a resolution telling the federal government to respect state marijuana laws, and orchestrated the first-ever endorsement for marijuana legalization by a U.S. Supreme Court justice (John Paul Stevens). Previously, Tom worked for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and Students for Sensible Drug Policy. (All organizations are listed for identification purposes only.)


  1. Our government has been on the NRA’s ass for some time to push for major change to gun control laws and the NRA has been able to hold them off, well I’m wondering if the reason the NRA hasn’t replied to this atrocity is because they are in some way working together in hopes that the government will back off of them when it comes to major firearm reform and allow this to go forward in hopes they won’t be bothered by big brother! Our government has been known to do just that when it comes to wanting something that is somewhat difficult to obtain by a powerful entity like the NRA. So they resort to underhanded tactics like this knowing full well that medical marijuana users are a hell of lot less likely to commit a violent crime compared to someone under the influence of alcohol, but yet alcohol is legal FEDERALLY knowing full well that it IS more dangerous than cannabis could ever be!! You all know something our government really should revisit our constitution and bill of rights and to the most important document we have in this country ( DECLARATION Of INDEPENDENCE ) to be reminded that our government IS SUPPOSE TO BE ” OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE!! They seem to have forgotten this statement that was brought forward by our forefathers to ensure that the will of the people is what they are in office to protect and that majority rules not minority!

    • This country’s politicians and law makers have made this country so Screwed up its hard to beleive…. There is no … (We The People…Anymore…) The Government and Big Business have made it to where they will control….Everything….

    • The problem these days is the PEOPLE are to busy with their damn noses In a phone or tablet or a computer looking at Facebook or whatever they’re into! I have noticed that the People These days are not interested to much in what the government is doing! If it doesn’t effect them in the now they have no care. I wish the PEOPLE would get off their butts and fight for what our forefathers fought for . The government has made people dependant upon things like the Internet! So they can pull these shenanigans they are! If people really cared more about the future of our kid’s and kid’s kids there would be a fire lit up under their butts to fight like our great grandparents and so on did to take back what the president and government has taken and continue to take from us. ……. Before you know it we will be thrown into concentration camp’s left to rot in some old Walmart that has been converted to a camp to imprison the PEOPLE, they might care then. Oh wait it’ll be to late. What the hell has this country come to. …….?

  2. More hypocritical thinking , great idea, let violent drunks have the guns, not the passive, non aggressive cannabis user, how do we put up with this? Alcohol IS a depressant, and they list depressant, it should be necessary to have a permit to drink, not to use cannabis

  3. I agree with Cactus Jim. Fair is fair- we must deny gun ownership to anyone who drinks and if you are arested with an illegal blood alcohol limit your permit should be permanently revoked. We’d see a lot less NRA members drinking and driving/ boating, etc.

  4. So if one didn’t tell them that you had a MMJ card how would they know?? In Washington state the medical privacy laws would prevent that info from being released…to anyone for any reason, this one included. The reason I know that is that they would have already done this regarding CDL driver’s licenses if they could have gotten away with it. They would have loved to take the CDL list and compare the names on that list and see if there’s any matching names on the MMJ card holder list. But the state Constitution and the medical privacy laws prevent that from happening. Maybe that’s why the state wanted to setup a “patient registry list” instead because the medical privacy laws wouldn’t apply to their new method of entrapment. Then they would know. So if they can’t do that regarding CDL driver’s licenses I’m betting they won’t be able to do it for guns either. Regardless I see this going to the Supreme Court hopefully after Trump has seated more 2nd Amendment friendly judges after he’s elected by a landslide in November and he can then…unpack that 9th Circuit Court of Appeals of the anti-cannabis bias they seem to have…cultivated there. Until then if you have a MMJ card and plan on adding more guns to your collection I wouldn’t be telling anyone about it. At least until well after January once Trump is in office. Or someone successfully sues to reverse this…outrage. Mum’s the word…

  5. Another injustice and more insanity. How many times have you heard about patients getting so high they resorted to gun violence? How many gun tragedies have we heard about due to someone having had “too much to drink”?

    I am beginning to doubt that in my lifetime I will see this plant treated as a valuable resource for health improvement or tolerance of extreme pain, and many other disease symptoms, as well as a smart addition to our economy.

    Marijuana should be marketed in stores the same way liquor is, with varying potencies and origins. It’s medicinal aspects should be embraced by the entire medical industry and a way to bring it to market affordably should be emphasized.

    I am sure the Supreme Court, if it will hear this case, will judge this restriction as unconstitutional. And why, oh why, would someone think Donal Trump will be the champion in all of this?

    • “And why, oh why, would someone think Donal Trump will be the champion in all of this?”

      Probably because lying crooked Hillary won’t be. It’s not that difficult to figure out – she’s anti-gun and Trump is pro 2nd Amendment. The…intoxicant makes no difference. Either they’re ALL subject to this ruling or none of them are, including cannabis though the Constitution fails to mention any of them. This has a excellent chance of being overturned, unless she steals the election…

      • While not agreeing with your need to slam Hillary, I do also hope this gets overturned. I really don’t think she is as backward as you might think. She is far more conservative than Bernie was, but there’s still time… she has never said “no” to legalization; she has said further research was needed. Many of us live with illnesses with symptoms that are relieved by cannabis and once she’s spent more time learning just how far and wide its use has become, she will come around I trust. Constantly slamming her does nothing.

        • I’m proudly deplorable – thank you. She’s a warmongering, lying, neocon criminal, globalist that’s killed more innocent women and children through Obama’s drone warfare program while she was Secretary of State without equal. The middle east is aflame from her poor judgement. Her Clinton Foundation is a fraud. The woman is pure evil. And yet because of some legalization…fantasy you have regarding her you’d actually vote for this psychopathic, gun grabbing thief?? It’s not a slam IF it’s the truth and when it comes to crooked Hillary and her Govt service we see instead it was just a pay-to-play scheme enriching her and BS Bill’s bank accounts. All the while she really thinks because you’re just a pee-on nobody of lesser…nobility than herself, she actually hates all those people, the deplorables a she calls them. And you’d vote for her in a continuation of the great divider Obama’s infamous third term?? Shame on you!! If you really love your country and have any respect for your taxpaying countrymen may I suggest not voting instead if you can’t pull the lever for Trump who’ll win by a landslide in November?? Smoke more cannabis but stay away from left wing losers like crooked Hillary and her ilk who will only cost you money and won’t do what you want anyway…

        • And so, I see you are someone who I won’t be able to converse further with. Your allegiance to Trump is all I needed to see. You find it okay to demonize Hillary and it’s just not my style. I have been a Bernie supporter for the most part, and Trump has even used some of Bernie’s platform ideas to try and muster up support from his supporters who don’t want to vote for Hillary. It’s all a big game. Do you really know what Trump actually, truly supports? Nope,, none of us do.

  6. NRA all they are is a money grabbing group that is all they are about they don’t care about rights they care about the cash they are a joke all you will ever get from them is a sob story and someone asking for a hand out it is bullshit there worse than a politician there is a clear violation of our right to bare arms and not a peep from them when I was a young man I use to belong to the NRA and then as I got older and started looking at the group and what they really did and wised up and seen through all the BS and smoke and mirrors the same old song and dance they still do go the hell away from that dog and pony show what a waste of money would be embarrassed to be an adult man and say I was a member of them must be completely mindless and not able to for a thought for yourself to follow these jack ass’s maybe it is the shiny stickers that amuse the weak minded there chrome and bright orange kinda like a cat and a laser pointer well sure I have pissed of several people now so I will end this lol.

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