Reading Time: 3 minutes

As 2024 unfolds, New York’s Medical Cannabis Program boasts 121,509 registered patients, reflecting society’s evolving healthcare attitudes. Simultaneously, America, the bastion of the Second Amendment, maintains its globally unmatched populace-owned gun count.

Yet, there’s a complication: medical marijuana and gun laws often conflict, an issue many people are unaware of. Knowledge gaps in this area risk ensnaring the unaware into a legal quagmire.

This article aims to delve into this tricky topic: Can you be a gun owner and also hold a medical card in New York? Let’s explore the laws, regulations, and realities of obtaining a NYS medical marijuana card and pistol permit to find an answer.


New York Gun Laws

Understanding New York’s gun laws is crucial. Here’s a simplified breakdown.

For the purchase of rifles or shotguns, no permit is needed, except in New York City. To buy a handgun, however, you need a license, valid for both possession and carry.

When it comes to possession, no state license is required for rifles or shotguns. However, they must meet minimum barrel length requirements: 16 inches for rifles and 18 inches for shotguns. For handguns, a license is necessary, applied for at the city or county level based on residence, employment, or business location.

As for carrying, New York issues varying types of handgun licenses, each with different restrictions on concealed carry. The license should clearly state if it allows carrying on the person or possession on specific premises.


Types of Firearms Allowed in NY

In New York, shotguns and manually operated action rifles can be owned without a specific license. However, to possess a pistol or a semi-automatic rifle, you must have a permit. The state’s strict regulations reflect its commitment to public safety while upholding Second Amendment rights.


What Disqualifies You From Owning a Gun in NY

In New York, owning a gun comes with certain restrictions. Individuals with a conviction or arrest warrant for a serious offense or felony, including weapons possession or menacing misdemeanors, are prohibited from purchasing or obtaining rifles, shotguns, or handguns. Essentially, any past unlawful conduct could become a roadblock to gun ownership in the state.


Can You Own a Gun and Have a Medical Card in NY?

A core principle stands at the crossroads of gun ownership and medical marijuana use in New York: the Gun Control Act of 1968. This federal law forbids marijuana users from purchasing or possessing firearms. Therefore, even as a medical marijuana patient in New York, where usage is legal, this Act labels you as a “prohibited person,” the same status assigned to violent felons and those adjudicated mentally ill.

Unpacking the Gun Control Act of 1968, we find that its regulations deem any marijuana use incompatible with firearm ownership. Regardless of medical cannabis’s legal status in New York, the Act’s federal purview overrules, resulting in medical marijuana patients being classified alongside individuals with significantly severe legal prohibitions.

Additionally, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) underscores this categorization. The ATF designates anyone using medical marijuana as an “unlawful user” of a controlled substance and bars them from gun ownership or purchase. Specifically, the ATF has explicitly confirmed that medical cardholders fall within this group. Therefore, if you hold a medical card, applying for gun ownership becomes a legal impossibility, and vice versa.

Interestingly, while federal penalties exist under the Gun Control Act of 1968 for cannabis use, marijuana dispensaries are forbidden from sharing their customer databases with the federal government, as per the office of NY state Senator Liz Krueger. This policy possibly fuels some medical cardholders’ risky choice to own firearms, banking on staying under the radar. 

However, there is a lawful way around this dilemma: a non-consuming spouse could purchase a firearm, maintain its possession, and store it inaccessible to the medical cardholder.


Why Choose Us

Interested in obtaining a medical card in New York? At Kif, we’ve streamlined the process for you. We have top-notch doctors dedicated to helping patients gain safe, legal access to medical marijuana.

Why choose us? We understand the complexities of medical marijuana regulations and work diligently to simplify the process for you. Experience the seamless integration of convenience, professionalism, and compliance with Kif. We’re committed to supporting your journey to wellness. 

Contact us today to begin your medical marijuana certification process with our trusted team.

Must Read: The 5 Types of Legal Cannabis In New York

By Kif Team

The Kif Team has expert team of writers with a profound understanding of holistic medicine. We specialize in assisting individuals in obtaining their medical marijuana cards. We firmly believe in the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis for various health conditions. Our mission is to educate and enlighten as many people as possible about its potential advantages.

Terms & Conditions