The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is suing to overturn Florida's new law that bans doctors
from asking patients about gun ownership.
The center, which filed the suit Tuesday in a Miami federal court on behalf of three doctors and three physicians groups, claims the law violates doctors' First Amendment rights to provide patients with information and advice on how to reduce risks from firearms.
“Nobody's privacy related to guns is being infringed,” said attorney Dennis Kainen, who represents the plaintiffs. “What we're doing is infringing the rights of doctors and patients to speak frankly and clearly to each other…It's a gag rule.”
The Brady Center threatened to sue hours before Gov. Rick Scott signed the bill last week. Scott is named in the suit along with Secretary of State Kurt Browning, Surgeon General Frank Farmer and other state health officials.
The law's supporters disagree, saying it's designed to protect patients' privacy as well as their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
"We pay doctors to be doctors, to give us medical care,” said NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer. “They're trying to be social workers and bring their gun ban politics into the examining room."