Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Connecticut?

  1. Connecticut Cannabis
  2. Connecticut Marijuana Laws
  3. Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Connecticut?

Can You Own a Gun with a Medical Card in Connecticut?

No. In compliance with federal law, Connecticut’s medical marijuana patients are prohibited from possessing firearms. While there is nothing in the state law banning the possession of firearms if you have a medical marijuana card, firearm sellers in the state must obey the federal law prohibiting cannabis users from owning guns.

Can Connecticut Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

Possessing a medical marijuana card prohibits Connecticut medical cannabis patients from obtaining a firearm permit. Cannabis is federally illegal despite its legalization in Connecticut. Federal law considers medical marijuana users likely to be involved in violent crimes as they have access to cannabis, an illegal substance. Hence, in a bid to prevent gun violence, medical marijuana cardholders are banned by federal laws from possessing a gun permit.

Does Connecticut Require Background Checks for MMJ Patients Seeking Gun Licenses?

Although MMJ patients are not allowed to purchase firearms, state law requires anyone intending to purchase a gun to undergo a comprehensive background check. To obtain a gun in Connecticut, you must complete a National Instant Criminal Background Check System authorization via the firearms section of the Connecticut Special Licensing and Firearms Unit (SLFU) of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection. Among other disqualifying offenses, no person convicted for a felony or misdemeanor of domestic violence relating to the use or threatened use of physical force of a deadly weapon may possess firearms in the state. Persons who have obtained Connecticut pistol permits can open carry or conceal carry.

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

Once your Connecticut medical marijuana card expires, you become eligible to obtain a Connecticut gun license if you meet the other conditions for obtaining a gun in the state. While you may apply for a medical marijuana card after getting a gun license, it is illegal to have both licenses active concurrently.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Connecticut

Connecticut has one of the most restrictive firearm laws in the United States, which are strongly backed by state legislators. Hence, there have been no major kickbacks to allow easier gun access, even for registered medical marijuana patients under the state's medical marijuana program.

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

Federal law categorizes marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act. Due to its status as a Schedule I narcotic, marijuana is deemed illegal under federal law to have no currently accepted medical use. Federally, marijuana is considered to lack therapeutic value even when consumed under medical supervision.

Due to this categorization of marijuana as an illegal substance, the Gun Control Act of 1968 makes it illegal for unlawful or addicted users of any controlled substance to possess or receive any firearm or ammunition.

In compliance with this law, the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) issued a memorandum to gun dealers in 2011 stating that any person who uses marijuana, regardless of whether marijuana has been legalized in their jurisdiction, must be considered an unlawful user and prohibited from purchasing firearms or ammunition.

In 2016, the Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the federal law in the Wilson v. Lynch case, ruling that a medical marijuana cardholder could not purchase a firearm and that the ruling does not infringe on the rights of citizens under the Second Amendment. The court held that banning medical marijuana cardholders from accessing guns does not violate their patients' rights as there is no constitutionally protected liberty interest in simultaneously holding a medical marijuana card and purchasing a firearm.

Consequently, the ATF now requires persons looking to purchase guns to verify their marijuana status on Form 4473 before purchasing firearms. An MMJ patient who claims not to be an unlawful marijuana user risks a perjury charge. Note that MMJ patients caught with firearms risk a 10-year imprisonment term under federal law.

In this section: