ATF reminds Minnesota gun owners of federal law after marijuana legalization

“it remains federally illegal to mix marijuana with firearms and ammunition”
Marijuana(Dakota News Now)
Published: May. 30, 2023 at 4:45 PM CDT
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ST. PAUL, MN. (Northern News Now) - Despite legalization, the ATF is reminding gun owners to follow federal law.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives wants to remind Minnesotans even though the state law has changed federal law still defines marijuana as a controlled substance like heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.

The federal Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits any person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance as defined by the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition.

“Until marijuana is legalized federally, firearms owners and possessors should be mindful that it remains federally illegal to mix marijuana with firearms and ammunition,” said ATF’s Acting Special Agent in Charge Jeff Reed, of the St. Paul Field Division. “As regulators of the firearms industry and enforcers of firearms laws, we felt it was important to remind Minnesotans of this distinction as the marijuana laws adjust here in the State of Minnesota.”

Minnesotans who are looking to purchase firearms must provide whether or not they are an unlawful user of marijuana on an ATF Form 4473 during a firearm purchase.

When states began easing restrictions on marijuana, the ATF issued an open letter to Federal Firearm Licensees in 2011 to provide guidance on how to best follow the federal firearms laws and regulations.

The guidance reminds licensees that it is unlawful to transfer a firearm to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that the person is an unlawful user of a controlled substance.

Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug, which is federally defined as having no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

Officials say the federal law does not provide any exception allowing the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.

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