[UPDATE] Gun Bills Pass Senate, Head to Gov. Scott

By: Lilly Rockwell, The News Service of Florida; AP
By: Lilly Rockwell, The News Service of Florida; AP

[UPDATE] 4-29 9:15am -

The Florida Senate on Thursday sent Gov. Rick Scott a pair of National Rifle Association-backed measures including a proposal to encourage doctors not to ask patients if they have guns in their homes.

With super-majorities in both chambers, the Republican-dominated Legislature sent Scott another NRA-backed gun bill (HB 45) that would punish local officials who consciously enact ordinances that are stricter than statewide standards.

“It’s very important that all of our constitutional amendments are protected,” said Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart.
Backers say the measures are attempts to solidify constitutional protections and prevent physicians from prying into law abiding people’s business with questions about guns.

Critics say the measures taken together overstep the protections guaranteed by the Second Amendment and instead will put local officials, physicians and patients at risk.

The first measure (HB 155) would prevent physicians and other health care providers from asking patients if they own guns and have them in their homes, unless they believe it is medically necessary to do so. The question could no longer be part of a routine patient survey.

“Whether I own a gun is none of their business,” Negron said.

The Florida Medical Association signed off on the bill, which was changed to remove criminal penalties and specifically allow physicians to ask about gun ownership in certain cases. The bill passed the Senate Thursday on a 27-12 vote.

Critics, including the Florida Pediatric Society, countered that physicians routinely inquire about pools, dangerous chemicals and other safety issues, particularly with children. Inquiring about gun ownership falls in that category.

“This bill has a chilling effect on the doctor patient relationship,” said Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston. ”It’s the duty of the physician to ask all the questions they possible can and the patient should be as honest as they possibly can.”

The second measure (HB 45) would punish local officials who “knowingly and willingly” pass local gun ordinances that are stricter than state statute allows. Public officials taken to court would have to pay their own attorney fees if they lose. The bill passed 30-8.

“This not only puts teeth in the law but a gun to the heads of local officials, pun intended,” said Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, an opponent.

Other bills are still traveling through the process, including a proposal to prevent people with concealed weapons permits from being charged with crimes if the firearm accidentally is exposed. The bill (SB 234) originally allowed concealed weapons permit holders to openly carry their weapons. It was amended to remove the open carry provision and passed the Senate Thursday. That bill initially also would have allowed people to carry guns on college campuses, but that provision was also removed. That bill now travels to the House after a 26-11 Senate vote.


[UPDATE] 4-28

American Academy of Pediatrics Release

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) joins the Florida Pediatric Society and other physicians and medical professionals in expressing grave concern over the Florida Legislature’s passage of a bill to restrict the ability of pediatricians to ask patients and parents simple counseling questions about gun safety without fear of sanctions from the state medical board. The bill awaits the signature of Governor Rick Scott.

The bill will limit pediatricians’ capacity to do what they do best – compassionately and effectively help families care for their children.

Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death in children older than 1 year. Pediatricians play a key role in injury prevention by providing anticipatory guidance to parents during office visits to lower the risk of injury in the child’s everyday environment. During these visits, several aspects of the patient’s home are discussed, including swimming pools, hazardous chemicals, smoke detectors, medications and firearms. These conversations help pediatricians and other physicians to partner with parents to keep their children safe.

In addition, pediatricians are often the first medical professionals to identify children, teenagers, and young adults with depression or other mental health issues, as well as those vulnerable to abuse. The presence of a firearm in a home increases the risk of suicide even among those without a previous psychiatric diagnosis. The increased risk of suicide is particularly striking for younger people in homes where guns are stored either loaded or unlocked.

“The patient-physician relationship is a confidential one,” said AAP President O. Marion Burton, MD, FAAP. “This bill is a harmful, unnecessary, and unprecedented government intrusion into the patient-physician relationship. Restricting the type of conversations that physicians can have with patients not only violates physician professional standards and clearly flies in the face of our First Amendment rights to free speech, but gravely threatens the health and well-being of patients. Similar legislation has already been proposed in other states, and we urge leaders in Alabama, North Carolina and elsewhere to reject these bills outright.

“Nearly every day we hear tragic stories about firearm injuries that could have been prevented by a simple conversation between a physician and a patient,” Dr. Burton said. “Limiting these conversations will only increase the number of these tragedies.”

The AAP calls on Florida’s governor to veto this legislation and to protect children from needless injuries and deaths by maintaining a strong physician-patient-family relationship.


[UPDATE] 4-28 10:45am - TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) --

The Florida Senate has approved a trio of guns bills that expand citizens' guns rights.

All were approved along party-line votes on Thursday. One
decriminalizes the accidental showing of a concealed weapon. A
person with a concealed weapon permit now could be charged with a
third-degree misdemeanor for inadvertently showing his or her

Another measure restricts doctors asking patients about gun
ownership. A group of pediatricians had opposed that bill because
they said it would interfere with patient care.

The third bill prohibits municipalities from passing stricter
gun laws than the state.


[UPDATE] 4-28 10:30am -

The Senate is poised to pass three bills that help gun owners, though all were softened from their original versions. One (SB 234) make it no longer a crime to accidentally show a gun that is supposed to be concealed. This bill was ultimately weakened from its original version, which would have permitted concealed gun owners to openly carry guns in stores and college campuses. Another measure (SB 402) applies penalties to an existing state law that prohibits cities and counties from passing stricter gun laws than the state, though it softens the financial penalties city and county commissioners might face to $5,000 rather than $100,000. A third bill (SB 432) limits when a doctor is allowed to ask a patient about gun ownership. This bill was a compromise between the National Rifle Association and the Florida Medical Association. It originally penalized doctors for ever asking the question. It now allows doctors to ask about gun ownership in certain circumstances. The bill sponsor said doctors should lecture about gun safety but don't need to know about gun ownership. “They don’t need to know if I own a firearm and where I keep my ammunition,” said Sen. Greg Evers, R-Crestview. Senate Democrats pointed out that SB 432 is still opposed by pediatricians, who feel asking parents questions about safety precautions in their home is an important part of their job. All of the bills are set for Senate approval Thursday.


Tallahassee, FL (AP) - The Florida House has approved a bill
that would restrict what kind of conversations doctors can have
with patients about guns in the home.

The bill (HB 155) was passed by a party-line vote of 88-30. It
now goes to the Senate, where it has a companion measure (SB 432).

The House bill was touted as a compromise between the National
Rifle Association and the Florida Medical Association. A group of
pediatricians still opposes the measure and say it intrudes on the
doctor-patient relationship.

The bill would allow doctors to ask about guns in the home only
if a good-faith concern exists that there is a health or safety
threat involved.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • by Anonymous on Apr 29, 2011 at 05:38 PM
    I can't see the problem with idiots owning guns..........look at all the wakulla good old boys. they're everywhere running their half starved dogs all over every one else's property.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 29, 2011 at 01:24 PM
  • by Anonymous on Apr 29, 2011 at 07:30 AM
    Personally I think any Doctor refusing treatment to someone because they refused to answer a question about guns or any thing else the patient deems as private should have their license to practice suspended. Oh, if your my doctor and you ask me that I will politely tell you it's none of your business. Medical records are a funny thing. Your insurance company can use it against you for whatever tiny clause they feel like referencing it to and then telling you they will notprovide your insurance unless...Freedom people, freedom. This is America rememeber. I was raised around them and taught to respect them and will continue to own them for protection, hunting and sport shooting.
    • reply
      by Dr. Gunbanner on May 3, 2011 at 07:37 AM in reply to
      Freedom is more than just owning and shooting guns at defenseless animals.
  • by Mike Location: America on Apr 28, 2011 at 03:16 PM
    Ought to make a law to keep metal clothes hangers out of doctor's hands. That would save a lot of kids.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:48 PM
    So, 2 people here, who claim to be doctors, openly state that they will disregard and break the law, because they don't agree with it. You are in the wrong profession. Politics is your true calling. Possibly a high level appointment in the current administration.
  • by Like it or Not ! Location: Tally on Apr 28, 2011 at 11:37 AM
    Bhahaha ! Funny arguments here ! Like it or not the law passed ! Guns shouldbe free anywhere but we'll take this ! We'll take more next session ! Now I can carry my concealed weapon with no accidental show problems. Law abiding gun and CCP owners got arrested and put on the floor for accidental shows. Charged with misdemanor because an officer was having a bad day ! Some officers di dnot care some arrested you ! Now that is cleared out, you gun haters can fight all you want ! This country will never allow controlling guns ! Don;t you get that ! This free country ! Not only criminals carry guns here ! Wake up ! Now go argue all you want !
  • by Freedom Lover on Apr 28, 2011 at 11:11 AM
    Babies should be armed as soon as they are born. It is their right under the 2nd Amendment. Obama is also not a US citizen. Born free! I was born free!
    • reply
      by John Nolan on Apr 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM in reply to Freedom Lover
      I agree. I let my infant son play with my gun all the time. It taught him to be comfortable around fire arms. In fact one time, I forgot to remove a round and he shot a hole in the wall. Didn't even cry. My boy understands FREEDOM!
      • reply
        by Janice on Apr 29, 2011 at 09:05 AM in reply to John Nolan
        You might exhibit less bravado if the round you left chambered had gone through your childs head. Obviously you are a hazard to your family.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:40 AM
    Love your show!
  • by Dr. Gunbanner Jr. on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:30 AM
    My dad and I will continue to ask patients about firearm ownership as well as political party membership. If you are in the "wrong party", I will deny you service.
    • reply
      by Lee on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:48 AM in reply to Dr. Gunbanner Jr.
      Sounds fair to me
    • reply
      by Francis on Apr 28, 2011 at 10:53 AM in reply to Dr. Gunbanner Jr.
      In socialist Hungry I wear my speedo on the beech. Here I would be made fun of, but in mother country doctors can recommend that your private property be confiscated by government if you are against taxes. I think it should be that way in this country. We need strong socialist government to teach these mouth breathers what REAL HARD WORK IS!
    • reply
      by God bless America on Apr 28, 2011 at 03:13 PM in reply to Dr. Gunbanner Jr.
      Maybe we should get a permit and picket your place of business that we don't agree with you. Do you think your pateints might turn away.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 27, 2011 at 04:31 PM
    why is it so terrible for your family doctor to ask if you have guns in the home? he may have hand outs and/or advice for you to make sure you keep your guns away from little fingers.............just sayin'.............where's the beef?
    • reply
      by country on Apr 27, 2011 at 06:19 PM in reply to
      Why would a lecture on gun handling or a handout be predicated on knowledge of ownership? These people claim they need to know who owns a gun so they can make a diagnosis -- and that is total bs.
    • reply
      by Duh on Apr 28, 2011 at 08:12 AM in reply to
      Simply put: It is none of their business AND it is not relevant to the treatment of illness . . . well, unless the illness is a gunshot wound. Simple stuff. If I want "gun advise" I'll go to a professional trainer. THAT is the appropriate course of action.
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