Everytown slams ‘Docs vs. Glocks’ ruling

On Friday, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled that Florida doctors do not have the right to inquire about whether a patient owns or has access to a firearm when it’s not relevant to a patient’s health and well-being, upsetting Bloomberg’s pro-gun control organization Everytown for Gun Safety.

The ruling upheld a 2011 bill signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott, which had been subsequently challenged in court by pro-gun control organizations and the Florida chapters of the American Academies of Pediatrics and American College of Physicians.

“In keeping with these traditional codes of conduct—which almost universally mandate respect for patient privacy—the Act simply acknowledges that the practice of good medicine does not require interrogation about irrelevant, private matters,” wrote the three-judge panel.

“As such, we find that the Act is a legitimate regulation of professional conduct,” the panel continued. “The Act simply codifies that good medical care does not require inquiry or record-keeping regarding firearms when unnecessary to a patient’s care.”

The NRA, which supported the bill, celebrated the ruling in what’s been dubbed the ‘Docs vs. Glocks’ case. Chris Cox, the chief lobbyist for the NRA-ILA, stated, “Every gun owner in Florida and across the country is grateful for this common sense ruling. It is not a physician’s business whether his or her patient chooses to exercise their fundamental, individual right to own a firearm.”

Erika Soto Lamb, communications director for Everytown for Gun Safety.  (Photo: MSNBC)

Erika Soto Lamb, communications director for Everytown for Gun Safety. (Photo: MSNBC)

Meanwhile, Everytown for Gun Safety viewed the ruling as an attack on the First Amendment rights of physicians.

“This decision by two of three judges on the 11th Circuit panel is out of step with well-established First Amendment law and an affront to reasonable public policy,” said Erika Soto Lamb, the group’s communications director, in an email to GunsAmerica.

“Despite scientific evidence showing that patients whose doctors counsel them on responsible gun storage are more likely to store their guns safely — and out of the reach of curious children — Florida’s law would subject pediatricians who counsel parents about responsible gun ownership to onerous penalties, including possible loss of their licenses,” she continued.

“The lengthy and well-reasoned dissent from the well-respected third member of the panel, Judge Wilson, clearly explains the numerous errors in the majority’s reasoning. Florida doctors should be able to speak to their patients about their health — including gun safety,” Lamb concluded.

American Academies of Pediatrics and American College of Physicians are now contemplating their next legal move, essentially whether they will appeal the ruling and continue the fight.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Michael June 3, 2018, 4:35 pm

    My response to anyone, physician or not, who deems it appropriate to question or preach to me about firearms, is to simply say I know nothing about what they are talking about and leave it there. If they persist, I just leave. The same thing with front desk dweebs and others in dentist offices, medical offices, etc. asking for my social security number. I usually just ask them if they are going to be taking taxes out of my pay? I remind them that the SSN is not a national identification number and was never designed as such and that under the law they have no right to request I give it to them. I have ended up speaking to a lot of office managers before my point was made and then politely received. And for those that persist – I simply make up a number ad regurgitate that to them just so they are satisfied. Problem solved. (And they leave that day regretting they ever asked me!!! Lol).

  • Michael June 3, 2018, 4:28 pm

    This is extremely funny, particularly when you consider that each year over 100,000 patients die in hospitals from something they didn’t come in to the hospital for treatment in the first place! Secondary infections, prescription of inappropriate and/or dangerous drugs, erroneous medial diagnosis and surgical mistakes, etc. It would appear the saying, “Physician heal thyself” has real application today across the United States. When three times more people die by the hands of medical “professionals” than die by firearms, it would seem “Every Town For Gun Safety”, et al have their priorities misplaced.

  • kane August 10, 2015, 4:59 pm

    Who would counsel the doctors on responsible gun storage?

    Where was Erika Soto Lamb and her 1A concerns when Eddie the Eagle was roasted by the angry anti 2A people?

    They called him the “Joe Camel” of the NRA.

  • textopcat July 30, 2014, 7:24 pm

    Using doctors to push a political agenda is not OK with most people. The idea that doctors can inquire about non-medical conditions and then record and report that to the federal government is not something that any court should allow. The ruling does absolutely nothing to limit any consultations with patients about medical related or subjects that the patient wants advice on.
    VPC (now with Bloomberg money) has done an effective (but dishonest) job of using pediatricians to push their scare message about guns in homes are dangerous to children and that children should be “sheltered” from any knowledge about guns.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend