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Old February 20, 2013, 02:37 PM   #7
Frank Ettin
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Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,774
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryLee
So, since Mr. Obama has stated that Federal Authorities would not be targeting recreational drug users I wonder how this might apply to gun owners. ...
Probably not at all.
  1. It's all about the doctrine of prosecutorial discretion. Prosecutors generally can decide how to use limited resources.

    In some cases a policy decision to back off of certain types of crimes might be driven by a conclusion that enough people, particularly among the current administration's constituency, find the conduct relatively benign. That might not be the case with other matters.

    To put some flesh on those bones, I can see the appeal to the current administration of soft peddling recreation marijuana prosecutions in State which have decriminalized it. And I can accept that the current administration could reasonably conclude that it has adequate political cover to support that policy decision. But if the subject were a matter about which the current administration's constituency was likely to feel differently, e. g., guns, I don't think we could count on the same level of prosecutorial forbearance.

  2. And looking at the marijuana issue, the Obama administration might have a policy not to vigorously enforce federal controlled substance law with respect to recreational marijuana use. That doesn't mean that the Obama administration isn't going to vigorously enforce federal gun laws with regard to persons who are unlawful users of a controlled substance and who are unlawfully, under federal law, in possession of a gun.

  3. A a month or so ago I did a quick search of federal appellate court decisions in a legal data base I subscribe to and quickly found more than 50 cases apparently involving convictions for being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a gun. Those were just appeals, and there were probably more; but I didn't see any point to spending any more time on it.

  4. Gun control is also on pretty much everyone's radar. There is considerable public pressure for increased gun control and enforcement of existing laws -- especially among Obama's core constituency.

  5. And the fact that there's a current policy to "soft peddle" federal prosecution of recreational marijuana use doesn't necessarily mean that will be the policy tomorrow.

  6. And in any case there has been considerable recent federal activity in connection with the dispensing and cultivation of marijuana under state medical marijuana laws. See --


  7. So it's highly unlikely that the Obama administration would back off enforcing federal gun laws in a State that with a more lenient marijuana laws?
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