Federal court upholds Florida's "docs vs. glocks" law

Associated Press reports:

A Florida law restricting what doctors can tell patients about gun ownership was deemed to be constitutional Friday by a federal appeals court, which said it legitimately regulates professional conduct and doesn’t violate the doctors’ First Amendment free speech rights.

The ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned a previous decision that had declared the law unconstitutional. An injunction blocking enforcement of the law is still in effect, however.


By a 2-1 decision, the appeals court upheld the law as a protection of patient privacy rights and said that the limits imposed by it were “incidental.”

“The act simply codifies that good medical care does not require inquiry or record-keeping regarding firearms when unnecessary to a patient’s care,” states the opinion written by U.S. Circuit Judge Gerald Tjoflat.

Read more on SeacoastOnline.  This is a very troubling ruling and I hope it is appealed. Tying doctors’ hands when it comes to discussing health concerns and risks is poor public policy and risks public health.  For the judges to decide what constitutes “good medical care” when the medical professional community is telling them loudly and clearly that this is a bad – and dangerous – law is egregious.

Update: You can find the opinion here (pdf).

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