Video: Docs v. Glocks Ruling Lets Physicians Ask About Guns
An outrageous Florida law forbidding doctors to discuss the dangers of gun ownership with their patients was recently struck down by a federal judge. Shockingly, the law, known informally as Docs v. Glocks, was originally passed by the state legislature without any evidence whatsoever supporting the claims made in the NRA-backed bill that doctors were infringing on their patients’ Second Amendment rights by asking if they owned guns.
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Lawyers.com Editor-in-Chief Larry Bodine interviews Daniel Vice, Senior Attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Vice explains that the law violates one of the most protected forms of communication: private conversations between a doctor and patient. Under the law, a doctor couldn’t even ask patients if they owned firearms, let alone discuss the dangers of gun ownership with them without risking the loss of his or her license to practice medicine.
Vice points out that existing research actually shows that doctors and patients discussing these risks and how to avoid them can prevent gun deaths. He contends that the NRA exerted pressure on lawmakers to pass the bill as part of a “policy of secrecy” the organization is pursuing in a concerted effort to keep information about the risks of gun ownership from the American public.
The battle over the Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act (as the law is formally known) isn’t over yet. Gov. Rick Perry has appealed the court’s ruling, while the American Bar Association this week passed a resolution opposing any effort to curtail doctors’ rights to communicate with patients about gun ownership and gun safety. The organization expressed concern in its executive summary that, if the Florida law is allowed to stand, this type of legislation will spread to other states.
Do you think the Florida legislature overstepped its boundaries by forbidding doctors to discuss gun ownership with their patients? Leave a comment below and share your opinion.