Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in New Jersey?

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

Can You Own a Gun with a Medical Card in New Jersey?

No. You cannot purchase a gun in New Jersey if you have a medical marijuana card or are registered under the state's medical marijuana program. New Jersey abides by the federal law prohibiting users of controlled substances from possessing firearms. As a medical marijuana card is considered evidence of unlawful marijuana use under federal law, a firearms seller in the state will not sell a gun to a medical marijuana cardholder.

Can New Jersey Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

If you are a medical marijuana patient, you cannot legally carry firearms with or without a gun permit in New Jersey. Carrying firearms is prohibited for New Jersey medical marijuana patients.

Does New Jersey Require Background Checks for MMJ Patients Seeking Gun Licenses?

A background check is required for anyone seeking to own a gun license in New Jersey. Therefore, medical marijuana patients who apply for gun licenses will be disqualified if they affirm their status as marijuana users on the application form.

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

If your medical marijuana card or registration as a patient under the New Jersey medical cannabis program has expired, you can apply for a New Jersey gun license as you no longer qualify as a marijuana user under federal law. Furthermore, while you remain a medical marijuana patient, your spouse may be able to obtain a gun license if they are not a registered medical marijuana patient. Even if your application for a New Jersey medical marijuana card is successful while you possess a gun license, you run the risk of being apprehended by federal authorities and subsequently facing serious penalties.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in New Jersey

Although medical marijuana has been legalized in New Jersey via the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act (CUMMA) in 2010, there has been no significant legislation introduced in the state legislature to allow medical marijuana patients to possess firearms.

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

Despite the movement towards legalizing marijuana in several states across the nation, the federal government remains steadfast in maintaining stringent regulations on cannabis use and the possession of firearms for cannabis users.

In 1968, the Gun Control Act was enacted to make the possession of firearms illegal for unlawful and addicted controlled substance users, including medical marijuana.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) enforces these regulations through Form 4473, a firearm transaction record. This form explicitly asks applicants about their cannabis use, making it a pivotal point of contact between potential gun owners and federal authorities. The ATF, in an open letter to licensed firearms dealers in 2011, clarified that individuals holding medical marijuana cards are ineligible to purchase firearms from licensed dealers.

The federal legal landscape for medical marijuana patients’ gun rights was further shaped by the Wilson v. Lynch case, heard by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court ruled that prohibiting the sale of firearms to medical marijuana patients did not infringe upon their Second Amendment rights.

Similarly, in the Fried et al. v. Garland et al. case, the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) and three Florida residents filed a lawsuit in April 2022. The plaintiffs argue whether the psychological and physical effects of medical marijuana on a state-law-abiding MMJ patient render the patient sufficiently dangerous or violent to abridge their Second Amendment rights. Although a U.S. District Court judge dismissed the case in November 2022, an appeal was filed and is pending in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

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