DOVER, Del. (AP) — As lawmakers consider whether to legalize recreational marijuana use, some law enforcement officials are suggesting new steps to ensure that cannabis users in Delaware are prohibited from buying guns.
William Bryson, police chief for the town of Camden and chairman of the Delaware Police Chiefs Council, told a state task force studying legalization issues Wednesday that marijuana users should be required to have an endorsement or certification on their driver’s licenses indicating that they consume cannabis.
Bryson said the proposal would help ensure that users of marijuana, whether for medical or recreational purposes, are in compliance with federal law, which prohibits marijuana users from owning guns.
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“It would make sure that we are doing everything we can to ensure that prohibited people are not buying firearms in Delaware,” he explained after the meeting.
A person who does not disclose on the background check form that she uses marijuana could be charged with a felony.
Bryson noted that the federal background check form for gun purchases requires applicants to state whether they unlawfully use marijuana. It also warns them that marijuana use remains unlawful under federal law, regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized by a state.
As a result, a person who does not disclose on the background check form that she uses marijuana could be charged with a felony. On the other hand, an affirmative answer regarding marijuana use — or showing a gun store clerk a driver’s license identifying the person as a marijuana user — would likely result in a person failing the background check.
“Anything we can do to keep the persons that are prohibited from getting the firearms I think is