District judge rules gun ban for marijuana users unconstitutional
On Friday, U.S. District Judge Patrick R. Wyrick dismissed an indictment against Jared Michael Harrison, ruling that the law invoked to prohibit possession of firearms by marijuana users is “unconstitutionally vague, in violation of the Due Process Clause, and unconstitutionally infringes his fundamental right to own a firearm, in violation of the second amendment.
Harrison was nominated by a federal grand jury on August 17, 2022 for possession of a firearm while “illegal user of marijuana,” with 18 USC § 922(g)(3) being relied upon in the indictment.
18 USC § 922(g)(3) prohibits the possession of firearms by any person “who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in Section 102 of the controlled substances)”.
Wyrick weighed the indictment in light of the Supreme Court Brown (2022), as Harrison maintained that he had the right to own a firearm and that 18 USC § 922(g)(3) “infringed that right”.
Section 922(g)(3) has no deep roots; it was not enacted by Congress until the Gun Control Act 1968. The law initially prohibited anyone who was “a illegal or addicted user of marihuana or any depressant or stimulant. . . Or amazing” to receive a gun, but it was amended in 1986 to broadly prohibit the receipt or possession of a firearm by anyone who “is an illegal or addicted user to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 USC 802)). In its modern form, § 922(g)(3) thus deprives a person of his fundamental rights right to possess a firearm at the time the person becomes an “illegal user” of marijuana. And in the opinion of the United States, all marijuana users are “illegal consumers”.
Applying BrownWyrick pointed out: “So the question here is whether denying someone the right to own a gun just because they use marijuana is consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of gun regulation. If not, then § 922(g)(3) cannot constitutionally be applied to Harrison, regardless of the reasonableness of the policy he embodies.
Wyrick found that “18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(3) violates Harrison’s Second Amendment right to own a firearm”, and Harrison’s motion to dismiss the indictment was granted.
The deal is United States vs. HarrisonNo. CR-22-00328-PRW in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the author/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is a political analyst for Armed American Radio and an ambassador for Turning Point USA. AWR Hawkins holds a doctorate in military history, with a focus on the Vietnam War (Brownwater Navy), the United States Navy since its inception, the Civil War, and early modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.