Main | Monday, May 02, 2011

FLORIDA: "Docs Vs. Glocks" Bill Advances

The GOP-dominated Florida legislature has made it a crime for a doctor to ask a patient if he owns any guns. Because even potentially violent mentally ill people have a right bear arms.
The measure (HB 155) cleared the Senate Thursday on a 27-10 votes and goes to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature, two days after the House also voted largely along party lines to place more restrictions on doctors and other medical providers when they question patients. The original bill filed by freshmen Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, and Sen. Greg Evers, R-Baker, called for punishing doctors with up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if they inquired about whether their patients owned guns. Gun groups have accused doctors of espousing an anti-firearm political agenda, and Evers has said he was pursuing the issue after a complaint from a constituent in his Panhandle district grilled about guns in the home. “When this goes on in the center and heart of my district, then I have a problem with it,” Evers said. “That’s the reason for the bill, and there’s been some great compromises.”
The Florida AMA says there are "many valid reasons" that a doctor might inquire about gun ownership. Democrats say the bill will punish pediatricians who might ask children about careless gun ownership by their parents.

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