Posted to Reason
By Brian Doherty
March 18, 2014
Rowan Wilson, then a Nevada-based medical technician in residential care homes, was not able to buy a gun from a licensed dealer who was personally acquainted with her and knew she had a state medical marijuana patient card.
This is because the dealer knew of Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) rules that stated “if you are aware that the potential transferee is in possession of a card authorizing the possession and use of marijuana under State law, then you…may not transfer firearms or ammunition to the person.”
Such a person, the feds insist, would fall afoul of Sect. 922 (g) of the federal criminal code (from the 1968 federal Gun Control Act), which says that anyone “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” is basically barred from possessing or receiving guns or ammo.
Wilson thought that BATFE policy violated her Second Amendment rights and sued.
To quote from my 2011 reporting:
As the suit says, “Ms. Wilson has never been charged with or convicted of any drug-related offense, or any criminal offense….Indeed, no evidence exists that Ms. Wilson has ever been ‘an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana….’ Ms. Wilson maintains that she is not an unlawful user of or addiction to marijuana….Nonetheless, Ms. Wilson was denied her Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms based solely on her possession of a valid State of Nevada medical marijuana registry card.” The suit argues the BATFE policy also violated her Fifth Amendment right to due process since it presumes she is a prohibited drug user arbitrarily
An opinion in that case was issued yesterday by U.S. District Court Judge Gloria Navarro, and it wasn’t good. It upheld a motion to dismiss the case entirely by the federal government defendants.
Finish the story here .
Ms. Wilson had this to say:
Thanks to Brian at Reason for his follow-up on the case and analysis. The case also ignores the fact that most Med MJ licenses expire requiring renewal, just as ANY other prescription. My current WA license is valid through January, 2015.
Other more contradictory wrinkles: in October of 2012 I was issued a concealed carry weapons permit in Utah. UT essentially has reciprocity with 30 other states. This license expires in October of 2017. Couple that with numerous background checks for my insurance licenses, credit working back in finance, DOMV/driver’s license checks, ‘tinkle tests’ for employment et. al. – gee, I nor did anyone else know that I was/am a ‘criminal druggie!’ ;-0 (Cheese addiction, sure, ask my naturopathic physician but really…)
It has been suggested that I become more active mutually supporting female gun groups beyond my history as a former NRA member from SF Bay area days. Various legal friends have offered to write amicus briefs to the 9th circuit garnering more attention. The reasoning is to ensure attention on the journey ahead. That will be tackled along with any access to PR wire next week after I pass another licensing exam.
Fees for Filing and Attorneys if you are so inclined may be made to the ACLU of Nevada http://www.aclunv.org/give and/or Rainey Devine http://www.raineydevine.com/contact-us/las-vegas-nv/
Thanks & Cheers,
S. Rowan Wilson, MBA
S. Rowan Wilson has a long history as an activist, in the Nevada LP and now in the state of Washington. She was Treasurer of the Nevada Capital Libertarian Party for a time.