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No, You Won't Lose Your Gun Just For Smoking Pot Recreationally

Rumors that Illinois gun owners will lose their firearms if they use cannabis under the state's new legalization mandate are false.

That's according to multiple authorities after major news outlets published stories claiming gun owners who purchase adult-use cannabis in Illinois would be placed into a database banning them from buying firearms.

The Illinois State Police said Dec. 31 it will not revoke Firearm Owner Identification Cards based solely on someone's marijuana usage.

Illinois State Rifle Association lobbyist Ed Sullivan said cannabis dispensaries cannot share identifying information with law enforcement agencies unless the customer authorizes it.

But Sullivan notes the federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule I narcotic. He said this allows the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) to obtain the records of medical cannabis users and potentially restrict their ability to buy guns from Federal Firearms License (FFL) dealers.

"If you intend to use cannabis and own a firearm taking the recreational cannabis route has less potential, detrimental effects on your 2nd Amendment rights than the medical cannabis route," Sullivan said.

The Illinois State Police did say it would revoke FOID cards from anyone deemed addicted to cannabis, though the agency didn't specify the criteria it would use to determine what qualifies as an addiction.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, possession of recreational cannabis products became legal for adults age 21 and over in Illinois. Click here for a basic summary of the rules governing cannabis transportation and usage.

Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.