A U.S. District Judge on Friday ruled that a federal law prohibiting marijuana users from legally possessing firearms violated the Constitution. This marked another defeat for the gun control lobby in the past several months alone.
Judge Patrick Wyrick of Oklahoma ruled in favor of Jared Harrison, who was charged last year with being in possession of a firearm as well as marijuana. The ruling clarified that the federal ban ran afoul of the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to keep and bear arms.
Challenges to gun laws have escalated in the US since the Supreme Court struck down a restrictive New York firearms law in June. https://t.co/5aASisFtks
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Wyrick acknowledged that the government has a role in keeping weapons out of the hands of those considered dangerous.
However, he stopped well short of defining marijuana possession as a sign that an individual is indeed dangerous. He wrote that having the drug was “not in and of itself a violent, forceful, or threatening act.”
Further, Oklahoma is a state where medical marijuana may be purchased in over 2,000 businesses. Wyrick added that “the mere use of marijuana carries none of the characteristics that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation supports.”
Harrison’s public defender, Laura Deskin, called the ruling a “step in the right direction for a large number of Americans who deserve the right to bear arms and protect their homes.”
The 54-page ruling is just the latest in a series of decisions thwarting the efforts of gun control advocates to limit the reach of the Second Amendment.
They followed last June’s landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling in New York State Pistol and Rifle Association v. Bruen.
In that decision, the high court declared an updated test for determining the constitutionality of firearms laws. The justices said that regulations and restrictions have to be “consistent with this nation’s historic tradition of firearm regulation.”
Citing Bruen in his writing, Wyrick determined that prosecutors did not identify “a single historical law that is ‘distinctly similar’” to the current statute prohibiting marijuana users from possessing guns.
The majority on the high court cleared the way for a broader interpretation of the clear intention of the Second Amendment. This opened the doors for new rulings and sent opponents of gun rights scrambling to enact new legislation.