Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Mississippi?

Can You Own a Gun with a Medical Card in Mississippi?

Yes. Per Section 8(3) of the Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act, registered medical cannabis patients in the state shall not be denied their right to own or purchase guns. Open carry and concealed carry of firearms, such as rifles, handguns, and shotguns, are legal in Mississippi. On the other hand, it is unlawful to carry automatic/machine guns and short-barreled rifles.

Can Mississippi Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

Yes. According to Mississippi Church Protection Act (House Bill 786), approved in 2016, cannabis patients aged 18 years or older do not need gun licenses to carry firearms stored in purses, handbags, holsters, or sheaths.

Does Mississippi Require Background Checks for MMJ Patients Seeking Gun Licenses?

Yes. The Mississippi Department of Public Safety requests background checks from MMJ patients seeking Enhanced Firearms Permits and Individual Firearms Permits. When buying guns from federal firearms dealers, cannabis patients without firearms licenses must complete the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS). During state and federal background checks, they must answer questions regarding their habitual or legal cannabis use.

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

Yes, residents with firearm licenses can get medical cannabis cards issued by the Mississippi Department of Health. Spouses of registered medical cannabis users in the state are not prohibited from owning firearms.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Mississippi

The Mississippi governor signed House Bill 786 into law in 2016, allowing residents, including medical cannabis patients, to possess guns without permits provided the guns are stored in purses, sheaths, and handbags. In 2022, medical marijuana became legal for qualifying patients after the Governor signed Senate Bill 2095 (the Medical Cannabis Act) into law. The medical marijuana law specifically protects patients’ rights to possess firearms in Mississippi. As of November 2023, there are no known lawsuits regarding gun ownership/possession for MMJ patients in the state.

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

Federal law prohibits medical marijuana users from owning or purchasing guns, according to an open letter published by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) in 2011. The ATF cites the 1968 Gun Control Act (GCA), which bans controlled substance users from owning firearms, as the reason licensed firearms dealers should not sell guns to MMJ patients. In addition to that, the Controlled Substance Act defines marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with no accepted medical use.

A court ruling in Wilson v. Lynch case in 2016 further emphasized federal prohibition on gun ownership for medical marijuana cardholders. Dismissing the lawsuit, the federal court judge in Nevada stated that the GCA did not violate citizens’ Second Amendment rights as claimed by the plaintiff. Medical marijuana cardholders may own state-issued gun permits but are prohibited from purchasing firearms from federal firearms licensees (FFLs). Firearm licensees must provide the ATF Form 4473 to anyone intending to purchase a gun. Medical marijuana users who provide false information, including as it relates to cannabis use, on the form may lose their Second Amendment rights, pay up to a $250,000 fine, and/or get up to a 10-year jail sentence.

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