Doctors Condemn Fla. Gun-Law Ruling
Medical groups have denounced a court decision upholding a Florida law that forbids doctors from asking patients if they have guns. The law was passed in 2011. It says doctors can ask about guns only if it is directly relevant to medical care or safety. A U.S. district court overturned the law in 2012. But a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that decision July 25. The court said that "inquiring about a private matter irrelevant to medical care isn't part of the practice of good medicine." Several doctors' groups disagreed. The American Academy of Pediatrics called the decision "an egregious violation of the First Amendment rights of pediatricians." Many children's doctors ask about guns in the home. They offer advice on safe storage to help keep guns away from children. On August 1, a new coalition of 20 medical groups also decried the ruling.