Federal law always overrides state law. This is certainly the case with respect to federal gun laws and drug use. Although California law allows marijuana to be used medicinally and recreationally (but not with its wholesale distribution and sale), the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and Explosives deems ANYONE who uses marijuana—whether as a personal choice or under the prescription of a doctor, to be acting in an “unlawful” manner. Whereas California lawmakers view this drug in a lesser light from other types of narcotics, (surprisingly) the federal government classifies marijuana in the same category as heroin.
The giving, “gifting,” or the transfer of firearms to beneficiaries from decedents carries with it a great deal of unimaginable risks involved with violating federal gun laws. These can range from being ordered to pay heavy fines to outright imprisonment! For example, before you can legally receive an inherited firearm, you will first need to apply/receive a Federal Firearm License (FFL). In addition, you will also need state firearm license from Sacramento. If the feds discover through their rigorous background checks that you are a medical marijuana patient or are casually using this drug, your application will be both denied AND you will be banned forever from legally owning a gun—it’s as simple as that (remember—federal law always trumps state law).
Instead of unintentionally breaking the law and becoming felons, beneficiaries need current information with respect to firearm transfers. Our law firm retains the services of a local firearms consultant who can assist you with expert advice needed to avoid these potential pitfalls.