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Appeals Court Overturns Florida's 'Docs vs. Glocks' Law

Image: Appeals Court Overturns Florida's 'Docs vs. Glocks' Law

(Photo by Yegor Aleyev\TASS via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 17 Feb 2017 03:58 PM

A Florida law that banned doctors from asking patients about whether they have firearms in their homes is unconstitutional, according to a court ruling.

The Hill reports that Florida's Firearms Owners' Privacy Act violates the First Amendment because it prevented medical professionals from asking questions that could be related to safety in the home. The law was passed in 2011, but the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has struck it down.

"Despite its majestic brevity — or maybe because of it — the freedom of speech clause of the First Amendment sometimes proves difficult to apply," Judge Adalberto Jordan wrote.

"Yet certain First Amendment principles can be applied with reasonable consistency, and one of them is that, subject to limited exceptions, content-based regulations of speech are presumptively invalid."

Nicknamed the "Doc vs. Glocks" law, the Firearms Owners' Privacy Act was supported by the National Rifle Association, reports the Miami Herald. It was overturned by an 8-3 decision, which can now be appealed to the Supreme Court.

"This is a hugely important victory for the First Amendment, for the rights of doctors and perhaps most importantly, the patients and families who are trying to protect themselves from guns in the home," said Jonathan Lowy, a lawyer in the case and a director at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The ruling, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, read in part: "In an effort to prevent and reduce firearm-related deaths and injuries, particularly to children, the American Medical Association 'encourages its members to inquire as to the presence of household firearms as a part of childproofing the home and to educate patients to the dangers of firearms to children.'"

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A Florida law that banned doctors from asking patients about whether they have firearms in their homes is unconstitutional, according to a court ruling.
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2017-58-17
Friday, 17 Feb 2017 03:58 PM
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