Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Nevada?

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

Nevada prohibits controlled substance users, including medical marijuana cardholders, from obtaining Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) permits. As such, medical cannabis patients in the state cannot own guns legally.

Can Nevada Medical Cannabis Patients Legally Carry Firearms Without Permits?

No. Per Nevada Revised Statutes §202.360(1f), registered patients who consume marijuana habitually cannot own or carry firearms. However, the state’s open carry law allows eligible persons to own firearms without permits.

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

MMJ patients in Nevada are prohibited from getting firearm licenses. However, eligible residents are required to complete state and federal background checks before purchasing firearms.

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

Yes. Nevada residents with CCW permits can apply to join the state’s Medical Marijuana Cardholder Registry. The state’s Department of Health and Human Services does not ask if qualifying patients or caregivers have gun licenses when applying for medical cannabis cards. However, the state also offers no protection from federal laws prohibiting gun owners from using marijuana. There are no laws restricting spouses of MMJ patients in Nevada from getting controlled carry weapon permits.

Legal History of Gun Ownership for MMJ Patients in Nevada

Nevada gun laws are consistent with a federal law that bans licensed gun dealers from selling firearms to habitual marijuana consumers. In 2011, a medical marijuana cardholder in Nevada filed a suit with a federal district court after a licensed firearm dealer refused to sell guns to her. In the Wilson v. Lynch lawsuit, the plaintiff claimed that the federal and state gun laws violated her Second Amendment rights. However, the federal district court in Nevada and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the suit. The judge stated that cannabis use has been linked to unpredictable behavior, which explains why the gun ban did not violate, but uphold, the Second Amendment rights to protect citizens.

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

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) stated in a 2011 open letter to federal firearms licensees why it is illegal for medical marijuana users to possess guns. The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits gun ownership for controlled substance users, including marijuana, which is classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act. The federal court ruling on Wilson v. Lynch case in 2011 also upholds the federal stance on gun prohibition for medical marijuana users.

Federal firearm licensees (FFLs) must ensure that gun buyers complete the ATF Form 4473, which contains, among others, a question on marijuana use. The information provided on the form will determine if an individual is eligible to purchase a firearm. Anyone who makes false disclosure on the form to purchase a gun illegally risks the following punishments:

  • A $250,000 fine
  • 10-year imprisonment in federal prison
  • A permanent prohibition from buying firearms
  • Forfeiture of Second Amendment privileges
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