TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Doctors could face discipline or the loss of the medical license if they ask patients about gun ownership and enter the information into a medical record.
The NRA pushed the bill. It was worried about the information ending up in government hands.
“It’s inconceivable to me that my pediatrician would ask me whether or not I have a gun in my home,” said Stuart Republican State Senator Joe Negron.
And legislation once interpreted as open carry or allowing concealed weapons on college campuses has been changed. Guns will still be prohibited on college grounds.
When it comes to concealed carry, the NRA got just what it wanted. And that was making sure someone couldn’t be arrested if their jacket blew open and displayed their weapon.
A third bill would fine city and county officials who adopt stricter gun or ammunition laws than the state. Those officials are already prohibited from tighter ordinances but there has been no teeth in the law...now they can face up to a five thousand dollar fine.
Governor Rick Scott says he will sign all three bills, and the NRA’s Unified Sportsmen of Florida is claiming victory.
“They restore rights that have been whittled away by people in the government sector,” said Unified Sportsmen of Florida spokeswoman Marion Hammer.
Pediatricians though, are still unhappy. Some think that not asking parents about gun ownership and safety will result in more injured children.
“Why do they feel that we’re impinging on the Second Amendment right to bear arms, when in fact what is happening is they’re infringing on our First Amendment rights to discuss safety with our patients," said pediatric cardiologist Dr. Louis St. Petery.
A lawsuit is a possibility.
The change to the concealed weapons bill and the ban on physicians asking questions are effective when they are signed by the Governor. The third bill takes effect in October.
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