Gov. Tom Wolf: Pennsylvania Will Not Take Medical Marijuana User’s Guns

Gov. Tom Wolf: Pennsylvania Will Not Take Medical Marijuana User's Guns

Dean Weingarten

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- Pennsylvania is struggling with the legalization of medical marijuana and the Federal prohibition of marijuana use.

The state police have quoted federal law as prohibiting people who legally use marijuana under state law, from purchasing firearms under federal law. Medical marijuana users may be denied a Pennsylvania license to carry firearms.

From the Pennsylvania State Police website:

If you are holder of a Medical Marijuana Card, it is important that you know:

  • It is unlawful for you to attempt to purchase a firearm under Federal law and you will be denied during your Pennsylvania State Police background check, due to prohibitions under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).
  • It is unlawful under federal law for you to keep possession of any firearms which you owned or had in your possession prior to obtaining a medical marijuana card, and we recommend that you consult an attorney if you have any questions about your firearms.  Again, this is due to prohibitions under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3).
  • It is also unlawful for you to apply for, possess or renew a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearm (LTC), because you are “[a]n individual who is prohibited from possessing or acquiring a firearm under the statutes of the United States.” (see above).  The sheriff should not process your application if you truthfully indicate to the sheriff that you are the holder of a Medical Marijuana Card.  Additionally, you will be denied during the Pennsylvania State Police background check, which occurs as part of the LTC application or renewal process.

An earlier statement, suggested medical marijuana users should give up their firearms. CBS reported this statement was on the Pennsylvania State Police website.

From cbslocal.com:

“It is unlawful for you to keep possession of any firearms which you owned or had in your possession prior to obtaining a medical marijuana card, and you should consult an attorney about the best way to dispose of your firearms.”

The above statement is no longer found on the State Police website. Governor  Tom Wolf has reassured Pennsylvania gun owners that Pennsylvania police will not be seeking medical marijuana users to confiscate their guns.

From wesa.fm:

According to the governor, the Pennsylvania State Police do not advise that if people receive medical marijuana they get rid of their guns. However, if they have questions about gun ownership and applying for medical marijuana, they should consult with their attorneys.

The one thing Wolf was clear on is that the state will not be seeking out those who already own guns.

“We’re not going to take their guns away,” Wolf said.

A worrisome possibility is that the database of medical marijuana users could be introduced into the federal National Instant Check System. The medical marijuana users could be tagged as prohibited possessors. If a background check was run on an individual who was on the list, they would show as a prohibited possessor.

It seems unlikely that while Governor Wolf is in office, the Pennsylvania government would turn over the database of medical marijuana users. But digital databases are easily moved around. A future Pennsylvania government may not be so sensitive to privacy issues.

The issue of medical marijuana and prohibited possessors is not going away. The rational thing would be to reform the federal law and reduce the categories of prohibited possessors to those who have committed violent crimes.

2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 20 thoughts on “Gov. Tom Wolf: Pennsylvania Will Not Take Medical Marijuana User’s Guns

    1. My thinking about the present governor having been made amply clear, see above, it remains that Wolf beat the opposition candidate.

    2. Legalize EVERY RECREATIONAL DRUG!
      There should then be a MANDATORY death penalty if a killer is convicted of killing under the influence of ANY drug INCLUDING Maryjane AND alcohol.
      Also if a RECREATIONAL drug user is found to have overdosed, LET ‘EM DIE!!!
      I wonder what will happen to cancer rates thanks to all those LEGAL smokers taking advantage of legal, danger free use.

      1. @BJI, And if all recreational drugs were legalized there should be a presumption of right action, when one kills a person under the influence of drugs because the drug users brain can not be working correctly, and the defender has little means of proving that he was justified.

    3. Additionally, as has been noted, look out for those digital data bases, and the legs that they might sprout. Speaking personally, I prefer good scotch, though I admit that I have not actually imbibed grass, as it is known.

    4. The Coal and Iron Cops, aka The Pennsylvania State Police have long been a law unto themselves, to the detriment of many people. That said, the position of the governor is surprising. Be interesting to see how the cookie crumbles.

    5. Just don’t forget the ‘antis’ are looking for any ‘excuse’ to further curb or nullify your 2nd Amendment rights!

    6. Where do you draw the line on who can possess a firearm? There are more classifications of people who cannot own a firearm than those who can. I somebody would make up their/my mind for me ast who or who can’t own a firearm.

    7. Here is something to consider: Are there any other medical treatments or medications that prohibit a person from owning firearms? You can’t tell me medical marijuana is the most powerful medicine on the market. So why pick on this stuff and not Codine, or Percoset, or Valium, or a hundred other mind-altering pharmaceuticals? This all boils down to the fact that states can decriminalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational use if they choose, but the fed isn’t budging on the matter. It’s time to grow up and realize marijuana is no more dangerous or addictive than alcohol. In fact, it’s interesting how the question 11e is worded on the form: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?” In which group do you put alcohol? You can abuse the daylights out of alcohol to the point where you can’t stand up. But it’s still okay to possess a firearm?

      1. I WISH MORE PEOPLE FELT THAT WAY–IF I HAD A DRUNK DRIVER KILL MY WIFE AND CHILDREN IN AN AUTO ACCIDENT–YES THE PERSON WOULD HOPEFULLY BE DEALT WITH–BUT IF THE SAME PERSON HAD BEEN UNDER THE INFULENCE OF POT I SUSPECT THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN SEEN AS A TRUE VILLIN !! THE DRUNK–POOR GUY JUST HAD ONE TO MANY TO DRINK ! SWEARS HE WON.T DO IT AGAIN–DOWN THE ROAD HE GOES–ALL TYPES OF MIND ALTERING THINGS THAT WE INGEST–BE IT ALCOHOL–POT–VICODIN–PERCOCET PEYOTE ARE HARMFUL IF WE OVERUSE AS ADULTS–AND THEREFORE –WE SHOULD BE HELD RESPONSIBLE AS THE SITUATION ARISES–IN CLOSING I’M 60 PLUS YEARS OLD–I’VE SEEN A FEW THINGS–AND I HAVE YET TO SEE POT AS A GATEWAY DRUG–OR AS THE BAD DRUG THE FEDS TRY TO MAKE IT OUT TO BE–LET’S FACE IT–SOME PEOPLE WHEN THEY HAVE A HEADACHE WILL BE HAPPY WITH AN ASAPRIN–SOME WILL NOT BE CONTENT UNTIL THEY HAVE TRIED A PERCODAN–A PERCOCET–A VALIUM — MORPHINE–HEROINE–THERE ARE JUST GATEWAY PEOPLE

        1. There is something called an addictive personality. Those with an addictive personalit are more likely to become addicted to porn, gambling, sex, medications, drugs, etc. I’m not saying they are the only ones, but studies have shown that those who “gateway” from medications to hard drugs are more than likely to have that type of personality. Its not the medications that automatically cause one to abuse. People have been known to be on prescription narcotics many years without issue. The press leaves out a lot, and makes the medication the villian.

          With that said, I agree with most of your post

      2. Alcohol dependence becomes alcohol addiction. Whoever told you alcohol is not addictive, lied to you. If you’ve ever had a close friend or family member addicted to alcohol, you would not be so cavalier. It’s very sad. I will concede that marijuana is not addictive – no argument.

        To your questions, I’ll pretend you’re not being rhetorical. Alcohol is a depressent, as such someone addicted could not legally purchase a weapon. The same answer for any number of controlled (narcotics, etc) prescription medications, if a legal user becomes addicted, they cannot legally purchase a weapon. It goes without saying that illegal use of any drug or medication prevents gun purchases … at least if you’re honest on the forms. Unless a Dr or shrink has labeled you in a database, the feds don’t know if you lie on the forms and wiling to chance jail time.

    8. To state up front, I support the use of non traditional remedies for the treatment of chronic or life threatening conditions. However, driving or operating a motor vehicle while under the influence or impaired, is a crime. The same laws would also apply to medical marijuana, pain killers and firearm carry/use, using a firearm would also be a crime. Operating a motor vehicle while impaired is a crime in most states. A medical marijuana card allows you to obtain and possess MM, it does not however give you the right to drive while impaired.

      In the Pennsylvania State Police posting, they had advised that you should check with an attorney regardless. The PSP’s advisory was based on statutes in the US Code, which is the language which will be used in a legal action.
      I applaud Governor Wolf for his statement, however with an PA governor election coming in the near future, you have to question the motivation.

    9. Yes I agree, using marijuana medically or recreationally should not prohibit gun ownership or Second Addmendment rights, discriminative and oppressive. All other medication users disqualified from firearm ownership or usage to defend self or others. No alcohol users allowed to own firearms? Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Federal government need to get new information and not base this decision on old propaganda. Sessions said marijuana leads to heroin usage? The people have voted sensibly and informed, are the federal ties to corporations and profits of more importance than of the people who have voted their beliefs. Thanks

    10. If medical marijuana is not used to prohibit a person from owning or driving a car, then it shouldn’t be used to prohibit him or her from owning and using guns.

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