Cynthia Willis of Gold Hill, Oregon was denied her right to obtain a concealed handgun license, even though she had had one, and was just getting it renewed. Jackson County Sheriff, Mike Winters found out she was a legal medical marijuana patient in the state of Oregon and denied her a permit based on that information. Willis took her battle to court. That was in 2008.
Jackson County Sheriff, Mike Winters has argued that issuing the license would violate federal law, specifically the Gun Control Act of 1968. That act from 43 years ago specifically forbids anyone who uses or is addicted to a controlled substance from having a firearm. The Jackson county woman admitted to Winters when she filed her application for a concealed gun permit that she was a medical marijuana patient. Willis won the first round, then Jackson county filed an appeal to that ruling from the lower court. In the second round, a court of appeals ruled in Cynthia Willis’ favor as well. She was issued a concealed handgun license.
She said she hoped the whole mess was behind her, but apparently, Sheriff Winters does not like to lose. He is taking his case to the US Supreme Court, a move that took Willis by surprise. She is shocked at the money being spent to keep her away from her gun rights as an Oregon citizen. So far, the case has cost about $34,000 bucks to the county’s legal team. Ryan Krchoff, an attorney for Jackson County, said the Gun Control Act is designed to keep guns out of the hands of people Congress considered potentially dangerous or irresponsible, such as those who use a controlled substance. Because marijuana is a controlled substance, the county argues gun ownership would be barred under the Gun Control Act.
But the state statute concerning concealed weapons doesn’t explicitly address it. Willis’ attorney, Leland Burger, has asked how many judges do we need to rule on this? So far three judges have ruled in her favor. It will be a lottery win if Jackson county sheriff Mike Winters gets a ruling with the nation’s highest court. Of the 10,000 cases sent to the US Supreme Court every year, only about 200 are heard. We will know this fall if he gets his chance