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Does using marijuana impact my right to carry a gun?

On Behalf of | Mar 23, 2022 | Criminal defense | 0 comments

There are many reasons you may be considering getting a permit to carry a firearm. For some, it is about protecting yourself; for others, it is simply about exercising a constitutional right.

Now that Illinois has joined the increasing number of states that have legalized both medicinal and recreational marijuana, it raises questions about what you can and cannot do if you use marijuana. When it comes to a permit to buy a firearm, there are specific rules about who can purchase a gun and under what conditions.

Here’s what you should know about how using marijuana could impact your ability to own a gun.

Marijuana is still illegal on a federal level

The law concerning marijuana seems to get more complicated, even with legalization in many states since, federally, marijuana is still an illegal substance. This means it matters more who finds you with marijuana than where you are when you have it.

The state of Illinois made its gun laws with the federal marijuana laws in mind.

Getting your FOID

The first step to owning a firearm or ammunition in Illinois is having a Firearm Owners Identification (FOID). You may expect many of the eligibility requirements, such as having no prior felonies. However, the list also includes using or being addicted to any controlled substances.

In this case, marijuana is still a federally controlled substance. It could disqualify you from getting a FOID and becoming eligible to purchase a firearm. Additionally, the list also includes failing a drug test for a substance you do not have a prescription for within the last year. This means that even if you have stopped using marijuana, if you tested positive for it within the last year, you would not be eligible for a FOID.

Many of the laws surrounding marijuana can be confusing, and using marijuana could impact other areas, such as owning a firearm.

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