Authorities in Hawaii have begun a campaign to confiscate guns from medicinal marijuana users. According to the Daily Caller law enforcement is asking the users to “voluntarily surrender” their weapons due to their medicinal status. Hawaii is the first state to tread on the 2nd Amendment rights of Americans. Once again the fears of mass shootings are misguided to promote a gun reform agenda. How many of the shootings have been attributed to marijuana use in the U.S.? None.
Users are being given 30 days from the date of receipt of the notice to surrender their firearms. According to Leafly News:
The Honolulu Police Department has sent letters to local medical marijuana patients ordering them to “voluntarily surrender” their firearms because of their MMJ status.
The letters, signed by Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard, inform patients that they have 30 days upon receipt of the letter to transfer ownership or turn in their firearms and ammunition to the Honolulu Police.
Gun owners can seek to have their firearms returned after submitting to the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) a medical doctor’s clearance letter. A clearance letter will also be required in order to purchase new firearms under the new order.
The letters come three months after the first marijuana dispensary opened up in Hawaii’s capital city.
The increasing benefits of marijuana come to light every day and slowly state after state is acknowledging that. While marijuana continues to remain a Schedule 1 drug with the federal government, states are decriminalizing and legalizing medicinal and recreational weed. Confusion lies in how the federal government will enforce its stance on the plant.
As written, federal law prevents patients who use cannabis from owning a gun. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) form 1140-0020, a form that must be completed by all gun buyers, asks the applicant if they are “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance”. Furthermore, the ATF includes a warning label in bold on the form stating:
Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.
The agency said in a2011 that no exceptions would be made for marijuana users with regard to gun ownership.
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 and ammunition. – ATF
As it stands, the courts continue to tow the line of the federal government in regards to pot. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the restriction/ban does not infringe on the 2nd Amendment rights of the people arguing that weed was found to cause “irrational or unpredictable behavior.”
“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,” the federal ruling stated. “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.”
Authorities have conveniently left out what will happen to the users who don’t voluntarily surrender their weapons. Will HPD begin conducting raids and random searches? Will a second and final notice be mailed out with a stern warning telling residents the consequences? Will tickets automatically be issued after the deadline for registered owners whose weapons have not been received? Only time will tell.
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