NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Firearm Owners' Privacy Act Under Review

Monday, June 24, 2013

On June 29, 2012 a federal district court in Florida blocked enforcement of several provisions of the state’s Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act, resulting from the case Wollschlaeger v. Governor State of Florida

The 2011 law was enacted to stop activist doctors from pushing an anti-gun agenda upon the residents of Florida by unnecessarily inquiring about patients’ gun ownership, and to protect patients’ privacy by making sure doctors cannot record gun ownership information in a patient’s medical file. Under the law, medical professionals and insurance companies are also not allowed to discriminate against patients based upon gun ownership. The law also makes clear that patients have a right to refuse to answer health practitioners’ questions about gun ownership. The legislation was inspired by the experiences gun owners have faced while receiving medical treatment from anti-gun doctors.

The law is not an outright ban on doctor-patient speech, as has been portrayed in the media. It provides clear exceptions for gun ownership information that is “relevant to the patient's medical care or safety,” and for medical personnel to inquire about gun ownership or possession in an emergency. It also does not stop interested patients from inquiring with their physician about firearms.

Following the ruling, the only protections remaining are the recognition that a patient may refuse to give gun ownership information to a medical professional, and the ban on insurers discriminating against gun owners.

In her opinion, Judge Marcia C. Cooke held that the law is a content-based restriction on speech that violates the First Amendment, rejecting arguments that the act was a “permissible regulation of professional speech or occupational conduct.” She rejected Florida’s argument that the law is valid because of the state’s interest in protecting the right to keep and bear arms, stating that the argument was a “legislative illusion” and that patients’ rights wouldn’t be adversely affected in absence of the law. Also dismissed is Florida’s argument that the State has an interest in removing “barriers to the receipt of medical care arising from discrimination or harassment based on firearm ownership.” Despite numerous accounts of patients facing hardships due to owning firearms, Judge Cooke shuns these cases as anecdotal.

On July 31, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced the State’s intention to appeal the case to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, noting, “This law was carefully crafted to respect the First Amendment while ensuring a patient's constitutional right to own or possess a firearm without discrimination."

Since July, the case has been taken up by the 11th Circuit and briefs have been filed by both sides. On October 1, the NRA filed a “friend of the court” brief in defense of the statute. In the brief, lawyers for the NRA explain that the legislation “simply recommends that practitioners ‘should refrain’ from asking questions about firearms unless related to medical care or safety,” noting that the act targets “discrimination and harassment, not speech.” The brief goes on to contend that even if the statute were to pose a remote restriction on free speech, it is well within the state’s authority as it “regulates speech only as part of the practice of medicine.”

Oral arguments are likely to be heard before the court later this summer. The NRA will be sure to alert you to any developments in the defense of this important patient privacy legislation.

TRENDING NOW

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Social Security Administration Releases Proposed Rulemaking on Disability-Related Gun Ban

On Friday, the Social Security Administration (SSA) released a draft of a proposed rulemaking that would supposedly bring the agency into compliance with what it claims is its responsibility to report prohibited persons to the ...

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Say What? Gun Control Advocates Try to Change the Language of Crime

As a cabinet level official in the Obama administration, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both reflected and informed the regime’s values and tactics, some of which she has carried forward into her own campaign ...

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Aging Rocker to College Students: You’re Too Drunk, Violent, and Stupid for Your Rights

Throughout its history, rock-n-roll music has provided youth who are fed up with being lectured and condescended to by out-of-touch or hypocritical elders a voice to respond and to advocate for their own generation. Athens, ...

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Hollywood Ramps up Anti-gun Campaign

Gun control advocates and Hollywood have long been allied in an effort to propagandize the public against firearm ownership. However, as detailed in an April 27 piece in entertainment industry trade publication Variety, anti-gun groups ...

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Hillary Clinton to Attack Gun Owners Her “Very First Day” in Office

In what has become as reliable as clockwork, with the passing of another week comes another Hillary Clinton attack on gun owners. This time, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination explained to supporters her ...

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

Poll: Voters Not Swayed by Clinton’s Anti-Gun Duplicity

We’ve been reporting on Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and her anti-gun mentality for months. She has been especially focused on the alleged immunity gun manufacturers have under federal law, the Protection in Lawful Commerce ...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Michigan: Important Firearm Preemption Legislation Will Likely Receive Committee Vote Next Week

Next Wednesday, May 4, the House Local Government Committee is tentatively scheduled to consider and vote on House Bill 4795, as substituted.  HB 4795, sponsored by Chairman Lee Chatfield (R-District 107), is important legislation aimed ...

Friday, April 29, 2016

Louisiana: House Committee to Vote Tuesday on Dangerous Bill Gutting Louisiana’s Firearms Preemption Law

Imagine the City of New Orleans having the statutory authority to pass any law they wanted governing the sale, purchase, possession, ownership, transfer, transportation, license, or registration of firearms and ammunition.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Georgia: Your Right-To-Carry Under Veto Threat

Governor Deal has until tomorrow, May 3, to sign these critical self-defense bills into law and he needs to hear from you NOW!

News  

Friday, April 29, 2016

NRA Statement on President Obama's Latest Gun Control

Fairfax, Va.— The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) issued the following statements on President Obama’s latest gun control push.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.