Comment: The 900 lb. Gorilla

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The 900 lb. Gorilla

That people have been prone to ignore:

"The Gun Control Act (GCA) makes it unlawful for certain categories of persons to ship, transport, receive, or possess firearms. 18 USC 922(g). Transfers of firearms to any such prohibited persons are also unlawful. 18 USC 922(d).

These categories include any person:....

who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance;"

There are a bunch of other categories, all problematic in one way or the
other, but this one is huge, because they definitely mean to include marijuana
in the definition - which by estimates I've seen is over 40 million adults in
the US. And - of course - they make no distinction about whether someone's
marijuana consumption may be perfectly legal according to their state and
local laws.

Since there is a provision which has shielded gun dealers from prosecution for
"unknowing" sales to prohibited persons and since the government has not been
actively checking and prosecuting people who lie on the background check form,
a defacto "don't ask (and check), don't tell" situation has evolved.

But what happens if the Feds decide to stop ignoring it and go after the (in all
likelihood) tens of millions of gun owners whose consumption of marijuana
or other substances make them "felons"?

Now we have S.443 which has been passed out of the Judiciary Committee and
which provides sentences of up to 15 years for even negligently transferring
a gun to a prohibited person.

From the GOA's analysis of the bill:

"You don’t need to know the person is a prohibited person under either example. The recipient doesn’t need to know they’re a prohibited person. You don’t need to do anything more than plan (“conspire”) to procure the gun. The recipient doesn’t need to be on the NICS list to be a prohibited person...

In fact, under section 4, if you even “intend” to sell a firearm to a person who turns out to be a marijuana smoker -- or one of the prohibited military veterans suffering from PTSD -- you become a prohibited person yourself."

The best defense in this case may be to quit pretending this situation doesn't exist and instead to on the offensive against it.