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Letter From ATF Angers Medical Pot Proponents

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Guns at MachineGunTours in Lakewood (credit: CBS)

Guns at MachineGunTours in Lakewood (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) – A Colorado advocate of medical marijuana says he’s outraged over a letter sent out by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reminding people that it’s illegal to own a gun if you are a medical marijuana card holder.

The letter was sent out last month to gun dealers and registered pot users, and it reminds them of what it refers to as a long standing federal law. Officials said they sent out the letter because they had started getting a lot of questions from gun dealers.

“You should not surrender your Constitutional rights when you become a medical marijuana patient,” said Robert Corry, a lawyer who has represented multiple dispensary owners in court cases.

Corry says Colorado medical marijuana patients may have more of a need to protect themselves than non-users because he said being robbed is a big concern.

“I’ve talked to at least a dozen people who are up in arms and panicked, frankly,” Corry told CBS4.

Alan Samuel, owner of a fun store in Lakewood called MachineGunTours, says he’s turned away several people in recent years because they are marijuana patients.

“It’s not my choice to interpret the law, it’s my choice to uphold the law, and that’s what we do,” Samuel said.

The ATF says they will handle enforcement of the law on a case by case basis. Corry says it’s an issue that won’t go away.

“If someone is denied to buy a gun at a licensed gun dealer and the reason for the denial is beause they are a patient, I think that person has a lawsuit,” he said.

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