Doctors, gun-control groups to appeal ‘docs vs. glocks’ ruling

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Doctors and gun-control advocates say they will file an appeal of a ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding Florida’s controversial 2011 “docs vs. glocks” law.

The three-judge panel, in a 2-1 decision last week, found the Florida Legislature had the right to pass the law restricting doctors and other medical providers from asking about gun ownership during medical visits.

Announcing an appeal on Monday is the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the group aiding Florida doctors in fighting the law.

“If the appellate court’s decision is allowed to stand, the corporate gun lobby and its political cronies will be given license to silence the medical community from speaking the truth to patients about the real risks of guns in the home, and any powerful industry will be able to dictate whether families get complete, honest information about the dangers posed by its products,” said Jonathan Lowy, director of the Brady Center Legal Action Project.

Supporters of law, which had the backing of the National Rifle Association, say doctors may be prejudiced against patients who own guns or refuse to answer questions about gun ownership.

Critics contend that it is necessary for doctors to know what is in a patient’s home, so they can provide safety advice.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.