Florida lawmakers send "don't ask" gun bill to governor

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 23, 2011

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

The Florida Legislature in late April approved a bill that would discourage physicians from asking patients about gun ownership.

The measure would refer physicians to the Florida Board of Medicine for possible sanctions if they ask patients harassing questions about gun ownership, enter unnecessary information about gun ownership in patient medical records or discriminate against patients who own guns. The Florida House approved the bill 88-30 on April 26. The Senate followed on April 28 by approving it 27-10. At this article's deadline, Gov. Rick Scott had not said whether he would sign it into law.

The Florida Medical Assn. negotiated a compromise version of the bill with state lawmakers and gun rights advocates. The original bill would have fined physicians up to $5 million and sentenced them to up to five years in prison for asking about patients' gun ownership, refusing to treat patients who won't answer such questions or entering gun ownership information into any record.

The amended bill would allow physicians to ask patients questions about gun ownership, enter such information into a record if it is medically relevant and choose which patients to see for reasons other than gun ownership.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics and its Florida chapter opposed both bills because they are concerned that the legislation would discourage physicians from counseling parents about gun safety.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn