It was none other than Col. David Crockett who said, “Be sure you’re right – then go ahead.” But Crockett didn’t have to face the niceties of the concealed carry/medical marijuana issue.
I have friends who insist that the permitless law signed by Gov. Kevin Stitt in March of this year allows them to also have a medical marijuana license while they own a firearm. First, note that the law doesn’t go into effect until Nov. 1, 2019.
Then be informed that regardless of what Oklahoma state statutes may say, federal law U.S.C. 922 (g) (3) says that it is unlawful for any user of a controlled substance to possess a firearm. And the feds still regard marijuana as a controlled substance.
S.Q. 788 made it possible for Oklahomans to possess marijuana for medical purposes or for use as a caregiver. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation has noted that concealed carry holders should voluntarily surrender their licenses if they opt to get an MM license.
Not so, say many. Not fair, say at least a couple of state legislators, who are actively doing something about the sticky situation.
Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, has authored Senate Bill 959 to try and smooth out the conflict between state and federal ordinances.
“This would clarify that, on the state level, OSBI would not be able to use an MM license as a reason to deny someone from carrying a firearm if they get their concealed weapons permit.”
Dham said the idea for his bill was brought to his attention by a constituent, an honorably discharged veteran trained in the handling and use of a firearm.
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Meredith Davis said MM patients can apply for a CCW permit, but the agency wouldn’t be able to issue it.
“Concealed carry is a state law regulated by your state, but I can tell you there are no exceptions under federal law for marijuana used for medical purposes,” Davis said.
House Majority Floor Leader Jon Nichols, R-Oklahoma City, is a bit more outspoken.
“The way we’re gonna handle it in Oklahoma is the same way 29 to 30 other states that have medical marijuana handled it, which is essentially, ‘We’re going to ignore the feds.’”
OSBI spokeswoman Jordan Solorzano admits that the agency won’t be, “going door-to-door trying to round guns up,” but she encourages MM users to surrender their self defense act licenses and get rid of their weapons.
The federal NICS system draws from three databases, all focused on criminal justice records. Most state MM registries are compiled and kept by state health department officials who do not upload into NCIS records.
So what do you do? CCW or MM? I’m sure not going to try and tell you. You pays your money and you takes your chances.
Fred Causley is a former OSU Agriculture Communications employee and a longtime Stillwater resident and NRA member. Send him questions or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.