DOCS v. GLOCKS
In another win for gun owners, a federal court recently upheld a new Florida law that restricts doctors from asking questions and recording information about patient’s gun ownership. This means that Florida can start enforcing the law that restricts doctors from snooping around about firearms.
This issue blew up a few years ago when some patients became outraged when filling out paperwork at the doctor’s office. Aside from the normal questions about medical history, doctors would inquire about the patient’s gun ownership, the number of guns in the house, children’s access to guns and so forth. Why does someone need to answer questions about the number of guns they own when they take their child to the doctor for a sore throat? What does that have to do with medical issues? Absolutely nothing! It was just another blatant attempt by gun-control advocates to meddle and control responsible gun owners.
The legislature eventually became aware that healthcare providers were increasingly questioning patients about gun ownership and giving unsolicited advice on the subject. Doctors defended their actions by claiming that it’s a “gun safety” issue and they have a First Amendment right to interrogate and counsel patients on the topic of firearms. Essentially, this policy was being used as a way for doctors to push their anti-gun political agenda and lecture against gun ownership.
This intrusion did not stop with the patient. Doctors would enter the gun ownership information into medical databases, thereby creating a de facto database of gun owners. There was no way to control what doctors did with that database. Could they give the information to the government? Could doctors then decide who could and who couldn’t own guns? The entire process was outrageous and unnecessary.
Thankfully, Florida passed a law to restrict doctors and healthcare providers from obtaining gun ownership information that is not relevant to the patient’s medical care. Cleverly dubbed the “Docs v. Glocks” law, it was designed to prevent doctors from harassing and discriminating against patients who own guns. Anti-gun groups have been unsuccessfully fighting this law in the courts for a few years. However, this recent appellate ruling shows that the law is here to stay. Hopefully, more states will get on the bandwagon and follow suit.
As a patient, you have the right to refuse to answer these questions without fear of discrimination or harassment. Doctors are prevented from asking even the first question about firearms and/or ammunition and there are severe penalties and sanctions if they do question you. If you find that your rights were violated, contact the attorneys at Dale Carson Law for a free consultation.