Should A Doctor Be Allowed To Ask If You Own A Gun?

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By James Buechele
July 18, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - Should doctors be able to ask patients if they own a gun, or does it infringe on your constitutional rights?

The 11th U.S. Circuit court of appeals is hearing so-called "Docs vs. Glocks" case today in Miami.

"If your doctor asked you if you owned a firearm? What would you say to him?"

"I'd probably tell him it's none of his business."

Rick Fulford doesn't mind answering medical questions when he visits the doctor. But ask him about his firearms? That's a different story.

Rick Fulford: "If you're treating me for a self-inflicted gun shot wound ok then maybe there might be a question there about whether or not I own a weapon. My biggest concern is that them basically just tracking information trying to find out whether or not I own a firearm."

A recent ruling by a judge in Miami says a 2011 law banning these types of questions is unconstitutional and an infringement on free speech rights.

"This isn't about keeping lists of people who own firearms."
Dr. Louis St. Petery is a pediatrician in Tallahassee. He says he asks questions to prevent injuries to children similar to questions about owning a swimming pool or trampoline.

Dr. Louis St. Petery: "If you own a gun let's talk about how to prevent your child from accidental death or injury from a firearm."

But many patients and parents don't see the similarities between owning a gun and a swimming pool.

"No not really I mean it's really not any information anybody needs to know about."

It could take months before a final ruling is made. The NRA has already come out in support of the 2011 piece of legislation.

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