Firearm possession in Missouri is fairly easy, but signing up for a medical marijuana card or using substances can take that right away from you.
Capt. Shawn Collie with the Buchanan County Sheriff’s Office Drug Strike Force said it will even make a legally obtained gun illegal to possess.
“The assumption is if you get the marijuana card, you are a user and you are prohibited. I think that’s going to be a big thing in Missouri especially. People have to understand you’re getting that medical marijuana card, you’re giving up your gun rights,” he said.
Working in the drug unit for the sheriff’s office, Collie said the firearms they do encounter are usually illegal. The nature of the right to own the firearm legally acquired changes, even when someone is legally using a substance.
“Most of what we’re seeing is mostly illegally possessed firearms. Now the thing is somebody that’s a drug addict may have purchased a firearm legally before they had a drug problem, it may have been given to them or whatever else. The problem is although they obtained it legally, once they become a drug addict or a drug user, abusing illegal drugs including marijuana, they are prohibited from firearms. So what they once had legally is now illegal,” Collie said.
While people may be under the impression that what they are holding may be legal for them, Collie said officers will not let that slide. ATF Form 4473 states because marijuana is illegal under federal law, it is illegal and you can not posses a firearm. Collie said it doesn’t matter if a state has legalized the drug.
“We know that as long as you are a law-abiding citizen you are not prohibited from having a gun, that’s your right and you should have a gun if you’re comfortable with it and we’re good with that. But if you’re a small percentage of the population who is prohibited or not allowed to have firearms you’re going to end up going to jail for it,” he said.
A bill recently passed in the U.S. House that would federally decriminalize marijuana.