Honolulu police tell legal marijuana users to turn in their firearms
The Honolulu Police Department has told legal marijuana users who own guns that they must turn in their weapons within 30 days.
In a letter to about 30 medical marijuana card holders on Oahu, the police said “you have 30 days upon receipt of this letter to voluntarily surrender your firearms.”
Police have been sending the letters since at least January.
One letter was signed by Susan Ballard, the new chief of police.
“Your medical marijuana use disqualifies you from ownership of firearms and ammunition,” the letter said.
In the letter, Ballard cites Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 134-7 (a) as the reason for the move. That section reads: “No person who is a fugitive from justice or is a person prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition under federal law shall own, possess, or control any firearm or ammunition therefor.”
Marijuana is still illegal under federal law, which trumps any laws on weed that states may pass, Joshua E. Jackson, spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), said.
“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana used for medicinal or recreational purposes,” he said.
In 2011, the ATF wrote an “open letter to all federal firearms licenses” that said “any person who uses or is addicted to marijuana … is prohibited by Federal law from possessing firearms or ammunition.”
Hawaii, which requires all medical marijuana users to register in a state-run patient registry, is the first state to make gun owners register all their weapons with the county police chief, according to Guns.com.