Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Friday, February 05, 2016

Second Amendment Victory for Patients

In a long-running legal battle called “Docs vs. Glocks” (a Glock is a popular handgun), which includes liberal medical societies challenging a Florida pro-Second Amendment law, a federal appellate court has ruled in favor of the Second Amendment. The case called Wollschlaeger et al. v. Florida is a tremendous victory for gun owners everywhere.

Gun-control zealots have persuaded liberal medical societies to include in their guidelines for pediatricians and other physicians that they ask patients about gun ownership. For pediatricians, this interrogation includes asking children whether their parents own guns, and then putting that sensitive information in the kid’s medical record. One’s medical record is fully available to governmental authorities at any time without any Fourth Amendment protections such as a warrant.

Numerous instances of these improper interrogations by physicians were recounted at a legislative hearing in Florida. For example, during a routine visit a pediatrician asked a patient’s mother whether she had any firearms in her home. The mother refused to answer, feeling that the question was an invasion of her privacy, and the pediatrician then told her she had 30 days to find another doctor.

In response to these incidents, the State of Florida passed a law that physicians may not intentionally enter information about firearm ownership into medical records, shall respect patient’s right to privacy and shall not ask about firearm ownership.

An appeals court upheld the law because it “narrowly protects patients in a focused manner in order to advance the State’s compelling interest in protecting the Second Amendment’s guarantee to keep and bear arms and patients’ privacy rights in their medical records.” Patients can now visit a physician in Florida without being asked nosy questions about guns.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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