Tags: Gun Rights | Docs vs. Glocks | Florida | Case | Guns | Doctors

Court to Hear 'Docs vs. Glocks' Case Pitting First Amendment Against Second

Image: Court to Hear 'Docs vs. Glocks' Case Pitting First Amendment Against Second
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By    |   Monday, 20 Jun 2016 01:13 PM

A Florida law that prohibits doctors from asking patients or patients' parents whether their households have guns is being challenged in Atlanta's 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The case only involves Florida law, but it could have repercussions in other states.

"It would send a signal to other states to start creating similar laws. That could have consequences nationwide," University of Georgia law professor Sonja West said, reports the Journal-Constitution.

Sponsors of the Florida law said the Florida Firearm Owners' Privacy Act was adopted to protect patients from doctors that might harass them over their ownership of guns.

According to the Journal-Constitution, the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action said, "Physicians interrogating and lecturing parents and children about guns is not about gun safety. It is a political agenda to ban guns. Parents do not take their children to physicians for a political lecture against the ownership of firearms, they go there for medical care."

Three doctors, two doctors' groups, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence filed the lawsuit. The groups' filing claims that a doctor asking about gun ownership in a home is the same as asking about illegal drug use, drinking, and whether child safety seats have been installed in cars.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke threw out the law in 2012, arguing that it violated the right of doctors' free speech.

"Nothing in this law prevents anyone from buying, owning, or securing firearms. It wouldn't take a gun away from a single person," Everytown for Gun Safety senior counsel Adam Skaggs, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Three-judge panels on the appeals court voted down the doctors' claim three separate times. This time, all 11 judges on the appeals court will hear the case.

UCLA law professor Eugenge Volokh told The Washington Post the law should be struck down because there isn't a conflict. Volokh believes that other common questions by doctors are not prohibited, so the law suggests that it's about gun rights support, not patient privacy.

"The selecting targeting of questions about guns suggests that this law isn't really about protecting privacy but about preventing doctors from spreading what many gun rights supporters see as unsound anti-gun propaganda.," Volokh said.

Since the Orlando massacre, law firms have contacted the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence to offer pro bono assistance in gun cases, according to the American Lawyer.

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A Florida law that prohibits doctors from asking patients or patients' parents whether their households have guns is being challenged in Atlanta's 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Docs vs. Glocks, Florida, Case, Guns, Doctors
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2016-13-20
Monday, 20 Jun 2016 01:13 PM
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