Posted by Ron Chapman
The Florida Docs vs. Glocks law has recently come under national scrutiny after Obama issued an executive order following the Sandy Hook massacre, clarifying that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from asking patients about gun ownership. But, Florida’s Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act (a.k.a. “Docs vs. Glocks”) enacted in 2011 after an Ocala couple complained that a pediatrician told them to find another doctor after they refused to answer questions about gun ownership, fines doctors up to $10,000 and revokes medical licenses for physicians that ask patients about gun ownership.
Many are calling the Florida law a waste of time and taxpayer dollars since the law featured a loophole allowing physicians to ask about guns in the home if they believe it affects patient safety.
Since the law was enacted in 2011, it has been overturned, appealed and now faces a repeal bill. In July 2012, federal Judge Marcia Cooke ruled that the law violates doctors’ First Amendment free-speech rights and doesn’t restrict citizens’ Second Amendment firearms rights. Later that month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, appealed Hon. Cooke’s decision to overturn the law. The law, which is awaiting action at the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, now faces more obstacles after a recent senate bill to repeal the law was filed by Miami Gardens Senator Oscar Braynon earlier this month.
One month after the Sandy Hook massacre, the issue of whether or not guns are a public health issue has become a national debate. While Florida doctors await the decision on the State’s Docs vs. Glocks law, Obama assures doctors that the federal ACA law allows doctors to ask patients about guns and likewise the American Medical Association encourages members to counsel patients on gun safety.