Most people who read this blog have probably heard of the book “Glock: the Rise of America’s Gun” by Paul Barrett. Gun people who have read the book have given it generally positive reviews.
However, that view of the book (and its author) might need to be tempered with the knowledge that Mr. Barrett seems to harbor some strong anti-gun beliefs.
In the Politics & Policy section of the January 9-15, 2012 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek (no, I don’t subscribe, but I am not above reading someone else’s magazine when I am taking a dump) there was an article written by Paul Barrett entitled “Gun Control: A Movement Without Followers”.
Let me state right up front: I’m not a lawyer, and I’m not offering legal advice. What I have seen though, is that in other states where marijuana use for medical purposes has been legalized, the Federal government hasn’t agreed.
As I write this, there’s a new law going through the state legislature in Connecticut — Raised Bill No. 5389 AN ACT CONCERNING THE PALLIATIVE USE OF MARIJUANA. I make no judgement about the merits of the law — I have no horse in the race. Some folks think it’s a great bill that fixes some of the problems of laws enacted elsewhere. I read through it though, and there are no restrictions that apply directly to firearm ownership.
While on the surface, that would make it appear “okay,” there are a couple of things to keep in mind. While a number of states have enacted laws to effectively legalize some drug use, the Federal Government has successfully raided, shut down, and prosecuted many establishments operating legally within state laws.
The big thing to worry about is one of the questions you’re asked on a BATF Form 4473:
e. Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any othe r controlled substance?
The Federal Government doesn’t recognize the state laws, therefore, in my completely amateur opinion, this will put you in legal hot water.
Last September, the BATF sent a letter to all licensed firearms dealers, telling them that it is illegal to sell firearms or ammunition to someone who possesses a medical marijuana card. From the article:
[…] According to a new memo from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, it is illegal for him or any registered medical-marijuana patient to own or possess firearms or ammunition.
The letter written last week by ATF Assistant Director Arthur Herbert to all federal firearms licensees gave them guidance on what to do if a firearms customer reveals that he or she is a medical-marijuana patient.
And here’s another case from Oregon. Cynthia Willis was denied a renewal on her concealed carry permit. She took them to court, and won, but the local Sheriff took it all the way to the Oregon Supreme Court and lost. I think this provides some hope that the issue can be settled, but keep in mind: do you want to be a test case?
The NFA Gun Trust Lawyer Blog provides another caution:
If you have a Gun Trust, you should also be cautious about having a co-trustee that uses medical marijuana as it could create liability for you and the other people involved with your trust.
Go read the article — he has a lot more to say on the subject.
I don’t particularly care if folks use marijuana, either for a medical condition, or because it’s a Saturday night. It makes no difference to me — the enforcement of these laws have done infinitely more harm than good, in my opinion. If this law is enacted in Connecticut however, I would strongly advise any gun owners to seek competent legal advice before proceeding.
I truly sympathize with the people who need to make the difficult choice between basic self defense and protecting their health. Over the next few years, I suspect that this issue will be sorted out, as many other states are moving towards a more relaxed attitude to marijuana use. Until that happens, there are going to be many legal battles to be fought.
(Updated) We have posted about range rules before, specifically the issue of ammo restrictions and brass retention policies.
Another set of rules that many shooters encounter is restrictions on the amount or frequency of shooting.
While it is common for publicly-accessible ranges to exclude full-auto weapons, certain ranges take the principle farther. Some ranges limit the number of shots you are supposed to take without a pause between them (a “5-shot rule” or a “no rapid fire/double-tap rule”). Others limit the number of rounds you put into the magazine. One range (according to a commenter in this post by SayUncle) doesn’t allow semi-auto rifles to be fired with a magazine inserted!
Update 12/04/2012: Nine months on, and I’m beyond baffled. People truly don’t read… In any event, here’s another futile attempt to get people trying to get in touch with Newington Gun Exchange actually in touch with Newington Gun Exchange. At long last, they’ve got a web page — please go here to contact them: http://gunexchangenewington.com/ — we do want people to read our review, but I spend an inordinate amount of time replying to people who clearly don’t pay much attention before getting in touch.
I am somewhat baffled. Yankee Gun Nuts is a blog, we write blog posts (well, to be fair, Gunnutmegger writes a lot of blog posts and I generally keep things running behind the scenes…). We are not, and never have been a gun store. Especially when we started this site a little over a year ago, and occasionally since then, we’ve reviewed a number of gun stores we like in Connecticut.
I guess that because a couple of them, notably Newington Gun Exchange and Bethany Firearms, do not have a web presence, our reviews are ranked the highest in Google when you search for them. Consequently, we receive a significant number of emails from folks who think we are these stores. For a long time, we simply politely responded to these emails, and pointed them in the right direction. To try to clear up the confusion, I made changes to the blog contact page, and the review for the store. I’m not saying people don’t read, but… people don’t read.
Gunnutmegger and I had the pleasure of visiting Newington Gun Exchange last weekend, and talked to the nice folks there — we mentioned the issue, and they told us that their original website was unavailable, and a new one was in production. We’ll happily update our information when they do.
To the best of my knowledge, the contact information listed on the Bethany Firearms page is up to date.
If you would like to contact Newington Gun Exchange, rather than just read our review, here’s their direct information:Newington Gun Exchange 210 Market Square Newington CT, 06111 Phone: (860)667-COLT (2658) Fax: (860)666-5881 Email: email@example.com
These are both great stores, and we don’t like to think that we’re making it MORE difficult for them or their customers.