By: Marie Scarci | February 6, 2023
A federal judge in Oklahoma has sparked a renewed debate surrounding gun regulations by ruling that the current Federal law prohibiting marijuana users from owning firearms is unconstitutional. This contentious decision follows recent Supreme Court rulings which have set new precedents for interpreting America's firearm legislation.
Jared Michael Harrison and his legal team have presented a case to the courts, claiming he is being denied his right as an American citizen-the Second Amendment's protection of firearms rights-due to a federal law prohibiting gun possession by those who use or are addicted to controlled substances.
Harrison was arrested and charged in Lawton, Oklahoma this May after police pulled him over for a traffic stop. During the search of his vehicle officers found some marijuana along with a loaded revolver. Harrison stated that he had been on his way to work at a medical dispensary, and he did not have a medical cannabis card.
His legal team successfully argued that the portion of federal firearm law concerning drug users or addicts was inconsistent with America's long-standing gun regulation principles, echoing last year's landmark Supreme Court case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen which revolutionized Second Amendment interpretation.
Federal prosecutors defended a controversial law requiring individuals convicted of certain drug crimes to give up their Second Amendment rights, arguing it's part of America's long-standing tradition of disarming those potentially risky. This includes felons, the mentally ill, and people under the influence – raising questions about how this will impact vulnerable populations in our justice system.
A federal judge ruled in favor of Oklahoma resident Jake Harrison, striking down prosecutors' claims that his marijuana use stripped him of the right to possess a firearm. Judge Patrick Wyrick declared such arguments unconstitutional and protected citizens like Harrison's fundamental Second Amendment rights.
Wyrick said, “The mere use of marijuana carries none of the characteristics that the Nation’s history and tradition of firearms regulation supports.”