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Cannabis case: Greene, Second Amendment Foundation sue AG, FBI, ATF

Rob Greene

Rob Greene, through the Second Amendment Foundation, has sued Attorney General Merrick Garland as well as the directors of the FBI and ATF over his inability to own firearms as a medical marijuana card holder.

Greene, currently serving his third term as Warren County District Attorney, filed the suit in federal court in the Western District of Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

He declined to comment further to the Times Observer in the wake of the filing.

In addition to Garland, the filing has two additional defendants — Steven Dettelback, director of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Each has a role in overseeing and administering the sale of firearms.

Associated Press photo Attorney General Merrick Garland, right, talks during a news conference on ongoing efforts to combat violent crime in cities across the United States Friday, Jan. 5 in Washington. Garland, along with the directors of ATF and the FBI, have been sued by Rob Greene through the Second Amendment Foundation over his inability to own firearms as a medical marijuana card holder.

Greene’s suit claims that the three men “have prohibited a particular class of persons, including Plaintiff Greene and the foundation’s similarly situated members, from acquiring, keeping, possessing, and utilizing firearms and ammunition, in direct violation of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

The filing cites the most recent Second Amendment ruling by the Supreme Court, Bruen, “requires courts to assess whether modern firearms regulations are consistent with the Second Amendment’s text and historical understanding.”

They argue that Greene and the Foundation’s “similarly situated” members are “unable to acquire or possess a firearm” due to regulations for “which there is no historical analogue.

The current restrictions … and their implementing regulations, as they pertain to medicinal marijuana, infringe upon the individual’s right to keep and bear arms, as they arbitrarily deny entire classes of persons….”

“There is no historical tradition of categorically banning individuals from keeping and bearing arms due to their use of a medicinal substance.”

The suit includes both a history of cannabis as well as background on the history of federal firearms prohibitions.

“Greene desires and intends to lawfully purchase, possess, and utilize firearms and ammunition so that he may exercise his constitutional right to keep and bear arms for self-defense and all other lawful purposes,” the suit claims. “Defendants are precluding Greene from purchasing and possessing a firearm and/or ammunition, which criminalizes Greene’s desired conduct under pain of criminal prosecution and incarceration for a period of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.”

As a result, the filing states that “Greene is currently abstaining from attempting to purchase, possess, and utilize” firearms.

The suit seeks a ruling that finds that the laws that prohibit Greene’s firearms rights are a violation of Second Amendment protections as well as temporary – and eventually, permanent – injunctions against enforcement of those laws.

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