The Oklahoma state Senate voted on Wednesday to approve a bill that would protect the right to own a firearm for medical marijuana patients. The measure, Senate Bill 959, was approved by a unanimous vote by the full Senate and will now head to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for consideration.

The bill, which was drafted by Republican state Sen. Nathan Dahm, would make it so qualified applicants could not be denied a concealed handgun permit solely because of their status as a registered medical marijuana patient. Under the state’s Self Defense Act, a concealed handgun permit can be denied to any person with a violation related to the use or possession of illegal drugs. SB 959 clarifies that the provision does not apply to those who hold a valid medical marijuana identification card from the state.

Under its interpretation of the Self Defense Act, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) has routinely denied concealed handgun permits to those who disclose that they have a medical marijuana card because of the continuing federal prohibition of cannabis. Failure to make such disclosure is a felony under federal law.

“You basically have to choose one or the other,” said Jordan Solorzano

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