Allow Doctors to Ask About Guns

doctors-by-shutterstock

Target: Florida Governor Rick Scott

Goal: Remove law that bans doctors from asking if a child’s parents have a gun in the home.

Pediatricians in Florida are allowed to ask their patients about their safety and well-being, like what they eat, how long they sleep, and if they have a backyard pool. However, they are not allowed to ask if their patient’s parents own a gun. The law that does not allow doctors to ask about guns was placed in 2011 and supporters of the Republican-controlled Florida legislature and the NRA claim that it became necessary when, in their view, doctors began pushing an anti-gun political agenda.

Thousands of physicians, medical organizations, and other groups have challenged the law and have even presented a lawsuit against it popularly known as “Docs vs. Glocks.” This law, formally called the Firearm Owners Privacy Act, is the only type of law of this kind that exists in the United States. The law also has severe punishments for doctors; doctors who violate the law may lose their medical licenses. Attorney Doug Hallward-Driemeier, who represents the physicians and their allies, has said that the law “singles out doctors’ speech about guns for restriction because the government disagrees with their message. This is precisely what the First Amendment protects us against.” Sign the petition below to urge Florida’s governor to remove the law.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Scott,

It is the job of a doctor to ensure that their patients are safe and healthy. It’s the reason they follow their line of work. They strive to help people and cannot do so if they’re banned from asking about guns. Pediatricians cannot ask their patients if their parents own guns and therefore cannot teach the child and the parents proper gun safety. An average of eight children and teenagers die everyday in America due to gunshot wounds, and it’s possible to end that if the ban is lifted.

It’s unfair that doctors would be punished for even asking their patients if they own guns. Revoking their license for trying to help people is unnecessary and wrong. By claiming that doctors are pushing an anti-gun political agenda, the Floridian government violates doctors’ First Amendment rights. Doctors have the right to urge their patients to do away with their guns if they so please, and patients have the right to follow or reject a doctor’s advice. I ask that you remove this unconstitutional law and allow doctors to freely speak with their patients.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: ShutterStock

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One Comment

  1. Dr. Tony DeLia says:

    Rick Scott is a joke. I truly am ashamed of this state for re-electing him even though he was the least popular governor in all 50 states for 3 of his first 4 years. This petition will have no effect on him or the wholly owned subsidiary of the NRA known as the Republicans.

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