Court rules that Florida doctors can ask patients about guns and gun safety


Circuit Court Judge Adalberto Jordan

Guns, what guns?

From Fox News: A federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that Florida doctors can talk to patients about gun safety, declaring a law aimed at restricting such discussions a violation of the First Amendment’s right to free speech.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that the law does not trespass on patients’ Second Amendment rights to own guns and noted a patient who doesn’t want to be questioned about that can easily find another doctor.

“The Second Amendment right to own and possess firearms does not preclude questions about, commentary on, or criticism for the exercise of that right,” wrote Circuit Judge Adalberto Jordan (appointed by Obama and born in Cuba) in one of two majority opinions covering 90 pages. “There is no actual conflict between the First Amendment rights of doctors and medical professionals and the Second Amendment rights of patients.”

Circuit Judge William Pryor, who was a finalist in President Donald Trump’s search for a Supreme Court nominee, said in a separate concurring opinion that the First Amendment must protect all points of view.

“The promise of free speech is that even when one holds an unpopular point of view, the state cannot stifle it,” he wrote. “The price Americans pay for this freedom is that the rule remains unchanged regardless of who is in the majority.”

The law was passed in 2011 and signed by Republican Gov. Rick Scott with strong support from the National Rifle Association. It was the only one of its kind in the nation, although similar laws have been considered in other states.

Supporters in the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature insisted it was necessary because doctors were overstepping their bounds and pushing an anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment agenda.

The law was challenged almost immediately by thousands of physicians, medical organizations and other groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union as a violation of free speech in what became known as the “Docs v. Glocks” case. A legal battle has raged in the courts since then, with several conflicting opinions issued.

“We are thrilled that the court has finally put to bed the nonsensical and dangerous idea that a doctor speaking with a patient about gun safety somehow threatens the right to own a gun,” said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

The 11th Circuit noted that Florida lawmakers appeared to base the law on “six anecdotes” about physicians’ discussions of guns in their examination rooms and little other concrete evidence that there is an actual problem. And doctors who violated the law could face professional discipline, a fine or possibly loss of their medical licenses.

“There was no evidence whatsoever before the Florida Legislature that any doctors or medical professionals have taken away patients’ firearms or otherwise infringed on patients’ Second Amendment rights,” Jordan wrote for the court.

The NRA and Florida attorneys had argued that under the law doctors could ask about firearms if the questions were relevant to a patient’s health or safety, or someone else’s safety, and that the law was aimed at eliminating harassment of gun owners. But the 11th Circuit said there was no evidence of harassment or improper disclosure of gun ownership in health records, as law supporters also claimed.

“There is nothing in the record suggesting that patients who are bothered or offended by such questions are psychologically unable to choose another medical provider, just as they are permitted to do if their doctor asks too many questions about private matters like sexual activity, alcohol consumption, or drug use,” the court ruled.

The ruling did determine that some parts of the law could remain on the books, such as provisions allowing patients to decline to answer questions about guns and prohibiting health insurance companies from denying coverage or increasing premiums for people who lawfully own guns.

The case will return to U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke in Miami for a ruling that follows the 11th Circuit’s direction. The case could, however, also be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.


18 responses to “Court rules that Florida doctors can ask patients about guns and gun safety

  1. “Judge Adalberto Jordan, appointed by Obama” pretty much says it all.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Now they’ll have a Miranda warning from doctors in Florida:
    You have the right to remain silent, any admission of having a gun will be put in your electronically searchable medical record for the NSA to give to leftist DoJ civil rights attorneys and the CDC advancing gun control, you have the right to find another doctor who likes guns or risk being labeled “paranoid” in your medical records so you can’t buy any more, if you cannot afford a better doctor (thanks to Obamacare) then you’re just screwed, you can decide at any time to exercise these rights at your own risk, enjoy!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. The question on firearms was posed to me via a questionnaire at a Duke medical practice (new to me) in N.C. When I protested at the relevance of the question, I was told answering was “voluntary”. I voluntarily skipped the entire questionnaire. It was my first and last visit there.

    In addition, during this doctor visit, I spent 90% of the time staring at the M.D.’s back, while he focused on his computer keyboard and monitor. Not my kind of doctor.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Doctors are authority figures and may elicit self defamatory comments from patients caught off guard. We want authorative doctors, as long as they stick to medicine. Even then, it can be troublesome; they want to fast track you for procedures and medications. There is a quota system like cops writing tickets. They use standards of care as the excuse.
    When we go to the doctor, they have topics on their script, but we’re ready. One wxample is they want to intimidate you into vaccines, and want you to feel defensive for minor accidents and injuries to the kid. They can take your child, take your gun, take your freedom, if the law allows them to. Everyone wants power.

    Liked by 4 people

  5. This is getting done in California too. Not all Drs. are asking. My family & I had firearms training by a DOJ instructor, and I had a bruise on my chest from firing a shotgun several times one afternoon. My Dr, checked me out, as Im pretty frail these days, and he said “So, I hear you have a bunch of guns!” He was fishing, because we never talked about our VERY SMALL inventory of guns. Tricky bastids, they are. Luckily, there are no minors in the house, or trouble with the police. Because Im sure we would have had a visit from CPS. (Child protective Service.) Seems to be subjective on the Drs. part.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Just because they are stupid enough to ask that question , doesn’t mean you have to be stupid enough to answer !!! ………If you’re a man in that position , turn on the ” husband hearing ” ……….If you’re a woman in that position , tell the nosy Dr. ; It’s my time of the month and you dare ask that question ” ….hehehe

    Seriously though , if they persist , tell the Doc you will be taking your money elsewhere . ………NONE OF THERE DAMN BUSINESS !!!!!!!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Did the court rule what the patients are going to tell their doctors? Take a guess you black robbed cretins.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. While your physician may I ask you questions about Firearms ownership and firearm safety, you are under no obligation to answer those questions. Personally I believe such inquiries are outside the bounds of medical inquiry. Such questions do nothing more than to determine Firearms ownership. It’s important to remember that medical records are not safe from government access.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Grif . . . I agree with you 100%. If I am ever asked that question, rather than object to being asked I will say, “Doc, do I look like Annie Oakley?” If pressed to answer, I will say “NO.” As you have indicated, our medical records are an open book to government agencies, which in itself tells smart citizens to just plain lie to their doctors. Just the same as now banks will ask you the purpose of cash withdrawals in larger amounts (even under $10,000) I have a great story I tell . . . Oh! My neighbor is selling their car, and it is just wonderful, but he wants cash, rather than a check. Total fabrication, but if people are stupid or noisy enough to impose themselves in my personal business, then it only seems fair to give them any answer that I feel inclined to give that particular day. Actually, that story went over very well both of the times I used it, at two separate banks.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Like the Seinfeld where Elaine gets comments in her folder for giving a physician lip and eventually gets blacklisted by the AMA.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I am 100% pro-gun control: Government first.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thanks for the great report! I would have never known otherwise re this “legal update.”

    “There was no evidence whatsoever before the Florida Legislature that any doctors or medical professionals have taken away patients’ firearms…” (Cubano Obamo Judge)

    That is SO TOTALLY NOT even the point. Libtard brains are so twisted. The point is one of privacy, as in, It’s None of Your Business. Plus, it’s IRRELEVANT. If I go to the doctor with a gaping gunshot wound, THEN you can ask about guns. Otherwise, it makes no sense whatsoever except as More Buttinsky Nosy Prying Govt. (via their “Medical Representatives” in this case).

    Why not ask patients:

    Do you have a car? It’s a lethal weapon if used improprerly. Do you park it safely? How often do you have it maintained, oil changed, brakes aligned? How often do you check your tires’ air pressure? Did you ever take driver training? Do you wear glasses when driving? Can you see well driving at night? Do you ever go over the speed limit?

    Do you use a lawn mower? Gas or electric? Lawnmowers can be dangerous, you know.

    Do you ever walk in the yard barefoot? You could step on a rusty nail & get lockjaw!

    Do you ever put your hand in the garbage disposal? That could be dangerous if you forget to turn it off first!

    Etc. Etc. You get my drift. What’s NEXT on the Nosy “Nanny State” Agenda? Pathetic.

    The fact it was DOCTORS & other “medical orgs” which attacked the original 2011 law is a total turn-off. Are most doctors libtards these days? (Probably yes > the younger, freshly-brainwashed ones.)

    It’s the ongoing “Demonizing of Personal Privacy & Integrity.” Like “White Guilt,” this game is called “Privacy Guilt” > making normal people-who-value-privacy seem nutty, hostile, etc.

    It’s also a game of PROFILING disguised as “Medical Concern re Gun Safety.” Pathetic x 2!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • TPR . . . your response was great! It is very good that people be aware of the possibility of being asked such questions BEFORE it happens, so they can plan what they are going to answer.

      Liked by 3 people

  12. “Liberty is a demand. Tyranny is submission.”
    When submission come to an end, our firearms will serve our demands.

    That is why, in a nutshell, they NEED, to take our guns.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. During an appointment my wife casually commented to the doctor (or maybe a practitioner, don’t remember) she was feeling a little stressed.
    Probably due to our three teenage daughters who were pretty much constantly breaking our balls while they were going through puberty.
    (They’re all grown up now)
    Anyway they wrote a diagnosis of anxiety in her folder and it affected her relationships with doctors and negatively impacted her healthcare premiums for something like 20 years until she somehow got them to remove the false diagnosis from her folder.
    So keep your trap shut in the doctor’s office, or employment office; anywhere you’re interacting with some idiot para-medic or para-legal looking to nail you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Point taken. I admire, for instance that, during the campaigne when reporters asked Trump what he’d prayed for after exiting a church—he said, “NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.” And he went on…and the reporter went on…and the world did NOT explode into a black hole……and here we are still…I am LEARNING by example from our President Trump how to protect myself from the rabid liberal left: I will NEVER EVER EVER tell my doctor about any “normal” anxieties….or discuss my gun experience….or ownerships, and no matter how many times they ask…I’ll NEVER EVER share my sexual relationships with my husband with them….WHY do they have a reason to KNOW that?????? These things are my private life and they can just pound sand b/c I’ve NEVER have and NEVER will “play” this stooopid game of “show me yours, I’ll show you mine (NOT!). It has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with my healthcare!!!!! The MORE the government meddles/controls our “healthcare,” the more we can expect these sorts of off-hand “intrusive” inquiries. They are gathering information that has NOTHING to do at that moment with our health or health care. I am NOT in a gang, even if I own guns…I am not in the age-group of a gangster or young person just experimenting/acquiring guns…..I am not a psychiatric patient…I am not of “other” sexual persuasion, I am not a criminal…..etc etc…..I REFUSE to allow this bull-crap into my life when I am seeking HEALTH CARE for God’s Sake!. JUST TELL ME WHAT MY DAMNED BLOOD PRESSURE READING IS…..listen to my lungs and heart and investigate some of my innards…and tell me what the verdict is and send me HOME!!!! GEEZ!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Doctor-So,do you have any guns?
    Me-Let me think-I have a Bronco II,a GMC,a Toyota,a Chevy,a Pontiac,a Harley-what else? Oh,I have 3 or 4 trailers-but,no,got no guns…
    Doctor-You know what I mean;do you own any firearms?
    Me-OH,okay,you mean like things that go BOOM!,right? Well,I have a barbecue that gets a little unruly,it’ll kinda explode occasionally,depending on the weather….
    Doctor-I’m putting that down as a “No”….

    Liked by 1 person

  15. If he had my been my doctor I would have surely saluted him with my middle finger and leave the office for good.

    Liked by 1 person

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