Oklahoma federal judge said federal statute preventing marijuana users from possessing firearms is illegal.
The US Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment.
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, announced a new test for assessing firearms laws.
A federal statute preventing marijuana users from possessing firearms is illegal, according to an Oklahoma federal judge, citing a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that greatly enlarged gun rights.
U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick, an appointee of former Republican President Donald Trump in Oklahoma City, dropped an indictment against a man charged in August with breaking that restriction, claiming it violated his right to possess guns under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Wyrick said that while the government can protect the public from dangerous people possessing guns, it could not argue Jared Harrison’s “mere status as a user of marijuana justifies stripping him of his fundamental right to possess a firearm.”
He said using marijuana was “not in and of itself a violent, forceful, or threatening act,” and noted that Oklahoma is one of a number of states where the drug, still illegal under federal law, can be legally bought for medical uses.
“The mere use of marijuana carries none of the characteristics that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation support,” Wyrick wrote.
Marijuana, the most common drug
Laura Deskin, a public defender representing Harrison, said the ruling was a “step in the right direction for a large number of Americans who deserve the right to bear arms and protect their homes just like any other American.” She called marijuana the most commonly used drug illegal at the federal level.
The US Department of Justice did not respond to a request for comment, but it is expected to file an appeal.
After the U.S. Supreme Court’s 6-3 conservative majority concluded in June that the Second Amendment protects a person’s right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense, the decision marked the latest instance of a court ruling a gun ban unlawful.
That ruling, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, announced a new test for assessing firearms laws, saying restrictions must be “consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans referenced that ruling on Thursday in declaring illegal a federal law prohibiting those under domestic violence restraining orders from owning firearms.
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