Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Iowa?

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

No, it is not possible to own a gun in Iowa as a registered medical marijuana patient. Medical marijuana cardholders in the state are barred from purchasing firearms (open carry or concealed carry) in line with federal law.

Can Iowa Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

No, because medical cannabis patients in Iowa are not allowed to carry firearms legally. However, per HF 756, Iowa residents who are not medical cannabis patients can purchase and possess firearms without permits.

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

No, MMJ patients in Iowa are prohibited from purchasing firearms. Being a medical cannabis cardholder makes an individual ineligible for gun ownership in the state, according to federal law.

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

No, it is illegal for anyone in Iowa to obtain a medical marijuana card after getting a gun license. If they do so, their gun license will become invalid. However, a patient can legally obtain a gun license after the expiration of their marijuana registry ID. Neither Iowa law nor federal law prevents spouses of medical marijuana patients from acquiring gun licenses.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Iowa

Iowa law has historically been silent on the issue of MMJ patients owning guns. However, in line with federal law, Iowa MMJ patients are barred from purchasing guns from federally licensed dealers.

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

Under the provisions of the Second Amendment, law-abiding citizens of the United States are legally entitled to purchase and keep firearms. However, the Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits unlawful users of controlled substances and persons who are addicted to them from possessing guns. Hence, it is illegal for medical marijuana users to own or possess firearms under federal law, as marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act (1970).

In 2011, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) issued an open letter to all federal firearms licensees (FFLs) informing them that it is illegal to sell firearms to medical marijuana cardholders. Prospective gun owners are required to fill out Form 4473, which includes a question about potential buyers’ cannabis use. A "yes" response to this question renders the person ineligible to purchase a gun. Also, answering "no" as an MMJ cardholder is perjury. Persons found guilty of perjury are charged with committing a felony and face up to 10 years imprisonment in federal prison.

In its ruling in the Wilson v. Lynch case, the United States Court of Appeal for the 9th Circuit decided in 2016 that medical marijuana patients were federally barred from gun ownership. The judge ruled that the refusal of federal firearm licensees to sell guns to medical marijuana cardholders cannot be considered a violation of their (patients) Second Amendment rights.

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