March 1, 2024
NICS Background Check Marijuana Exclusion ATF Form 4473 Firearms Transaction Record Question. iStock-919659526
NICS Background Check Marijuana Exclusion ATF Form 4473 Firearms Transaction Record Question. iStock-919659526

U.S.A. — The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives issued a stern warning last week after Minnesota became the 23rd state to legalize recreational marijuana.

The author, apparently Jeff Reed, ATF’s Acting Special Agent in Charge of the St. Paul Field Division, sought to provide “clarification for gun owners and potential gun owners who may be considering using marijuana given Minnesota’s recent ease on marijuana restrictions.”

“Regardless of the recent changes in Minnesota law related to the legalization of marijuana, an individual who is a current user of marijuana is still federally defined as an ‘unlawful user’ of a controlled substance and therefore is prohibited from shipping, transporting, receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition,” Reed said in the letter. “Until marijuana is legalized federally, firearms owners and possessors should be mindful that it remains federally illegal to mix marijuana with firearms and ammunition. As regulators of the firearms industry and enforcers of firearms laws, we felt it was important to remind Minnesotans of this distinction as the marijuana laws adjust here in the State of Minnesota.”

The letter shows once again how the ATF will threaten and bully law-abiding Americans while ignoring high-profile Democrats who are committing the very same offenses. No one – other than perhaps Hunter Biden – personifies ATF’s dual standard of justice better than former marijuana lobbyist, Florida’s former Agriculture Commissioner, failed gubernatorial candidate, and the current chair of Florida’s Democratic Party, Nikki Fried.

In 2019, just days before she was sworn in as Agriculture Commissioner – who oversees Florida’s Concealed Weapon or Firearm License (CWFL) program – Fried appeared on “The Marijuana Solution’s” podcast. She told listeners that according to state law, Floridians could possess both a CWFL and a state-issued medical marijuana card, despite federal prohibitions.

“I have both,” Fried said on the podcast, which was sponsored by a marijuana vendor. “So, I want to make that very clear, that I will not be taking anybody’s concealed weapons permit or not renewing them. I see no conflict between the two.”

The podcast’s website has since been taken down, but other evidence still exists.

While running for governor in 2021, Fried posted a picture on her campaign’s Facebook page of her medical marijuana card. The photo was captioned: “I’m a proud medical marijuana card-holder and I’ll fight like hell to stop Republicans in the Florida Legislature from restricting patient access.”

In a 2018 Tweet, Fried admitted she owned at least one firearm.

“The NRA says I’ll take your guns—that’s a lie. I own a gun, I’m not anti-gun, I’m pro-public safety. The gun lobby feels threatened, they just spent $1 million on ads to maintain control of our government. I’m running to restore accountability and ensure full background checks,” she said in the Tweet.

While overseeing Florida’s CWFL program, Fried closed the online application portal during the height of the pandemic, suspended the CWFLs of dozens of Floridians who attended the Jan. 6 protest before they were convicted of any crime, and bragged that she had “kicked the NRA out of Florida’s gun licensing office.”

Fried did not respond to requests seeking her comments for this story.

Dual Standard of Justice

It’s not as though ATF is unaware Fried is flaunting the law. In 2019, a daily newspaper in Florida even published a story titled: “Will the feds bust Nikki Fried?”  But so far, the ATF has given Fried a complete pass, even though she admitted she possesses firearms, has a valid CWFL, and is what ATF’s acting-SAC in St. Paul called an “unlawful user of a controlled substance.”

To date, there have been no late-night “knock-and-talks” at the front door of Fried’s home, even though ATF agents across the country are unconstitutionally intruding on law-abiding gun owners who may have purchased after-market triggers, solvent traps or other firearm accessories.

And don’t forget Hunter. The ATF and federal prosecutors have been investigating the false statements he made when he purchased a handgun in Delaware for more than five years, while others who are not the president’s son have been sentenced to federal prison for the same offenses.

Perhaps the ATF is ignoring the crimes of high-profile Democrats because they are too busy trying to turn 40 million law-abiding Americans into felons after they purchased a plastic firearm accessory that the agency twice said was perfectly legal.

This obvious dual standard of justice is just one of a long list of atrocities the ATF has been allowed to commit for decades, completely unhindered. Now, the question we should be asking is not what they are going to do about Nikki or Hunter, but how long can we as a free society allow such a corrupt and politically biased federal law enforcement agency to even exist.

This story is presented by the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and wouldn’t be possible without you. Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support more pro-gun stories like this.


About Lee Williams

Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer,” is the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Until recently, he was also an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.

Lee Williams

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