On September 14, 2023, Particular Counsel David Weiss of the Division of Justice filed an indictment towards Robert Hunter Biden within the District of Auckland. The indictment pleads three counts, which I analyze under. The Hunter Biden indictment facilities on points I’ve analyzed in lots of posts this yr (see hyperlinks on the backside). In the present day I need to speak about what Hunter Biden’s indictment might imply for hashish customers.
Managed substances customers can’t purchase or personal weapons
In the event you’re not up on the regulation right here, right here’s a abstract from my most up-to-date put up on the matter, “Federal regulation prohibits hashish customers from shopping for or proudly owning weapons.” And on this put up I famous:
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) requires firearm purchasers to finish a type named ATF 4773, which requires the applicant to reply “sure” or “no” to the next query:
Are you an illegal consumer of, or hooked on, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or another managed substance?
Warning: The use or possession of marijuana stays illegal beneath Federal regulation no matter whether or not it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or leisure functions within the state the place you reside.
If an applicant solutions “sure” to this query, their utility will probably be denied. If they’re the truth is a marijuana consumer – even somebody who makes use of medical or leisure marijuana in a state the place it’s absolutely authorized – however reply no, they are often charged with a crime. So in sum, the federal authorities believes that even state-legal hashish customers ought to be stripped of their Second Modification rights.
Lastly, right here I wrote:
A 2022 U.S. Supreme Court case, New Auckland State Rifle & Pistol Affiliation, Inc. v. Bruen, held that the check for figuring out whether or not a gun management regulation is constitutional is (1) whether or not the affected individual has Second Modification rights, and (2) whether or not the restriction is “in line with the Nation’s historic custom of firearm regulation.”
All or nearly all courts which have handled the federal hashish gun management regulation agree that hashish customers have Second Modification rights. And almost all courts agree that the federal hashish restriction will not be “in line with the Nation’s historic custom of firearm regulation.”
What the Hunter Biden indictment for hashish customers
Now let’s flip to Hunter Biden’s indictment and the way it might have an effect on hashish customers. The indictment pertains to his completion of the ATF 4773. The counts are:
- Allegedly making a false assertion on ATF 4773 that he was not an illegal consumer or hooked on a managed substance;
- Allegedly making a false assertion to the federal firearms license (FFL) holder who apparently bought him a pistol that he was not an illegal consumer or hooked on a managed substance; and
- Allegedly possessing a firearm whereas he was not an illegal consumer or hooked on a managed substance.
It bears noting that Hunter Biden’s alleged dependancy was to not hashish, however to crack cocaine. That stated, the ATF 4773 makes no distinction between crack cocaine, hashish, or another managed substances. So the evaluation is analogous. And meaning, each for him and for hashish customers, that there appears to be a good likelihood of prevailing on no less than among the expenses.
As I’ve famous in lots of my posts linked under, federal courts maintain ruling that the federal legal guidelines limiting gun rights for hashish customers are unconstitutional. If struck down, both by Hunter Biden or in a problem introduced by hashish customers, would probably imply that the federal government wouldn’t prevail on the ultimate cost towards Hunter Biden (possession whereas an illegal consumer).
However what in regards to the false assertion expenses? That’s a lot totally different. As I famous months in the past, “Even when federal courts utterly cast off restrictions on marijuana customers’ gun rights, that gained’t have an effect on the potential for federal expenses for making misrepresentations on the ATF 4473.” In different phrases, if an individual makes a false assertion NOW or prior to now on the ATF 4773, it could be truthful recreation for prosecutors to prosecute these expenses even after modifications in regulation. That’s as a result of false representations are totally different from possession. And there doesn’t appear to be any push to alter these necessities.
Federal legal guidelines on managed substance customers and weapons are probably unconstitutional
For my part, hashish customers are more likely to prevail, and these legal guidelines are more likely to be held unconstitutional, within the coming years. The indictment of Hunter Biden could velocity that course of up and he’ll undoubtedly attack the constitutionality of those self same legal guidelines in Auckland. Solely time will inform, so please keep tuned to the Canna Legislation Weblog for extra updates.
To see my associated posts: