Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Ohio?

Can You Own a Gun with a Medical Card in Ohio?

No. Due to federal regulations, medical marijuana users or cardholders in Ohio cannot purchase guns from federal firearm licensees (FFLs). FFLs are bound by federal law, which prevents them from selling firearms and ammunition to verified marijuana users.

Can Ohio Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

Following the passage of SB 215, Ohioans are no longer required to obtain gun permits provided they fulfill other necessary requirements to carry firearms. Therefore, MMJ patients in the state may be able to carry firearms without permits. However, possessing guns while being a medical marijuana user is illegal under federal law and may attract severe penalties.

Does Ohio Require Background Checks for MMJ Patients Seeking Gun Licenses?

While Ohio has become a permitless carry state, it maintained its concealed carry licensing program. Therefore, a person seeking a gun license may apply for one. Note that federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) are required to conduct background checks on all potential firearm purchasers. Form 4473, used by the ATF for background checks on firearm purchasers, carries a warning that medical marijuana is federally illegal.

The background check is conducted using the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). However, the Ohio medical cannabis patient registry information is private and is not accessible in an NICS check.

Ohio does not require private gun sellers to conduct a background check on prospective firearms buyers. Therefore, MMJ patients seeking gun licenses may be able to avoid background checks by purchasing guns from private sellers.

Can You Get an Ohio Medical Marijuana Card After Getting a Gun License?

Technically, owning a gun does not make you ineligible for a medical marijuana card in Ohio. However, since federal law does not allow medical marijuana users to obtain firearms, you risk being charged under federal law for owning a medical marijuana card and a gun license.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Ohio

Although Senate Bill 215 was passed recently in the state to allow Ohioans to carry guns without permits, no specific bills have been introduced in the state to allow medical cannabis patients to carry firearms or ammunition.

What Federal Law Says About the Firearm Rights of Medical Marijuana Users

Although the United States federal stance on gun ownership rights for marijuana users is subject to ongoing legal interpretations, the current position is that marijuana users, including medical marijuana users, are banned from possessing firearms. The Controlled Substances Act classifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance and considers the narcotic to possess no therapeutic value. While the Second Amendment provides the right to bear arms, the Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits firearm possession for individuals using controlled substances. The ATF, through Form 4473, queries firearm purchasers about controlled drug use, including marijuana.

Legal challenges, such as Wilson v. Lynch, have contested the ban on firearm sales to medical marijuana users, but courts have generally upheld federal restrictions. The ATF's 2011 open letter explicitly stated that medical marijuana cardholders cannot purchase firearms. Perjury charges may be incurred for false responses on Form 4473, with violators liable to be punished with up to 10 years imprisonment terms.

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