A federal law barring marijuana users from possessing guns violates the Constitution, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled.
The decision cites last year’s landmark Supreme Court ruling that affirmed an individual right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
The ruling came as challenges to gun laws across the nation have escalated since the Supreme Court struck down a restrictive New York firearms law in June 2022. The high court held that there is a constitutional right to carry a gun outside the home, leading states such as New York, New Jersey, California, and Illinois to respond by doubling down on firearms restrictions.
In that precedent, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, the Supreme Court held that gun restrictions must be deeply rooted in American history if they are to survive constitutional scrutiny.
On Feb. 3, Oklahoma City-based U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump, threw out an indictment against Jared Michael Harrison, who was charged with violating the ban.
Harrison was pulled over for a traffic stop on May 20, 2022. Police officers searched the car and found marijuana and a loaded revolver. Officers did not conduct a field sobriety test nor did they seek to draw Harrison’s blood for drug testing. On Aug. 17, 2022, a federal grand jury indicted him for possessing a firearm while being an unlawful user of marijuana.
As of October 2022, 19 states allowed the recreational use of marijuana while 37 states permitted its medical use, but it remains illegal at the federal level. Oklahoma currently allows medical, but not recreational, use of marijuana.