A federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Friday that a law barring marijuana users from owning firearms is unconstitutional.
The ruling is the latest challenge to firearms regulations after the conservative majority of the US Supreme Court set new standards for reviewing the nation’s gun laws.
U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick in Oklahoma City dismissed the indictment against Jared Michael Harrison, who was charged in August with violating a federal law that prohibits “unlawful users or addicts of controlled substances.” Makes it illegal to possess a firearm for
Harrison’s lawyers had argued that the part of the federal firearms law that targeted drug users or addicts was inconsistent with the nation’s historic tradition of regulating firearms, echoed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Last year, in a case known as the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association. The Brown case set new standards for interpreting the Second Amendment.
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On the other hand, federal prosecutors argued that the law’s focus on drug abusers was “consistent with a long-standing American historical tradition of targeting potentially dangerous individuals, namely, criminals, the mentally ill and Intoxicated persons are to be disarmed.”
Wyrick agreed with Harrison’s attorneys, saying federal prosecutors’ arguments that Harrison’s status as a marijuana user “justifies depriving him of his fundamental right to possess a firearm… is not a constitutionally permissible means of arming.”
“But the use of marijuana alone does not have a characteristic that is supported by the nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation,” Weirick said in his ruling.
The decision comes after the New Orleans-based 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that a federal law giving victims of domestic violence a constitutional right to own firearms.
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