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United States Ninth Circuit

Wilson v. Lynch, 14-15700

In a suit challenging the federal statutes, regulations, and guidance that prevented plaintiff from buying a gun because she possesses a Nevada medical marijuana registry card, the District Court's dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff lacked standing to challenge 18 U.S.C. section 922(g)(3), which criminalizes possession or receipt of a firearm by an unlawful drug user or a person addicted to a controlled substance; 2) plaintiff’s Second Amendment claims did not fall within the direct scope of US v. Dugan, 657 F.3d 998 (9th Cir. 2011), which held that the Second Amendment does not protect the rights of unlawful drug users to bear arms; 3) 18 U.S.C. section 922(d)(3), 27 C.F.R.section 478.11, and the Open Letter issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to federal firearms licensees, which prevented plaintiff from purchasing a firearm, directly burdened plaintiff's core Second Amendment right to possess a firearm, but the fit between the challenged provisions and the Government's substantial interest of violence prevention was reasonable; 4) any burden the Government's anti-marijuana and anti-gun-violence efforts placed on plaintiff's First Amendment expressive conduct was incidental, and the Open Letter survived intermediate scrutiny; 5) the challenged laws and Open Letter neither violated plaintiff's procedural due process rights protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment nor violated the Equal Protection Clause as incorporated into the Fifth Amendment; and 6) the Open Letter was a textbook interpretative rule and it was exempt from the Act's notice-and-comment procedures.

Appellate Information

  • Decided
  • Published 2016/08/31




  • United States Ninth Circuit


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