The state of Montana recently legalized marijuana and now residents of the state can purchase marijuana legally, but these same residents who consume marijuana can no longer purchase firearms. This is not the result of state law or some part of the legislation that legalized marijuana in the state, this is the result of federal law about marijuana.
This oversight was not immediately apparent and while there have been widely politicized reports of someone getting busted by the federal government in the state, the concern is still very real. The Montana Free Press asked the ATF if marijuana users in the state were allowed to own firearms and they responded saying that gun owners were in fact not permitted to own marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia. It can be said that marijuana users also can’t buy guns.
The Gun Control Act(GCA) prohibits a person who uses a controlled substance from possessing a firearm or ammunition. This is the regulation that is stopping Montana residents, who can legally purchase and consume marijuana, from purchasing or owning guns.
Montana is not the only state that has run into this problem, other states that have legalized marijuana have also run into this problem, Colorado being the most notable example. As more and more states legalize marijuana whether for business, tourism, or expanding personal freedoms this will continue to be an issue.
Solutions are few and far between in this issue. It would be possible to reclassify marijuana as a schedule two drug, this would mean that those with a prescription for medical marijuana would be able to own it and retain their 2A rights. This does not solve the issue of recreational users though.
There needs to be some serious legislation that addresses this issue in the near future simply because this isn’t a problem that will go away. Republicans are not likely to support this legislation as a result of it being drug related and Democrats are never going to give gun owners a win, here’s hoping that this all changes in the near future.