Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Florida Alert: It’s not about the First Amendment

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Florida Alert: It’s not about the First Amendment

DATE:  August 5, 2015
TO:       USF & NRA Members and Friends
FROM: Marion P. Hammer
             USF Executive Director
             NRA Past President

Below is our response in the Tallahassee Democrat to anti-gun editorials attacking the courts on the "Docs v. Glocks" issue.


Hammer: It’s not about the First Amendment

http://www.tallahassee.com/story/opinion/2015/08/04/hammer-first-amendment/31122003/

By Marion P. Hammer, 

My View 4:57 p.m. EDT August 4, 2015

The column “Free Speech does not threaten gun ownership” (Aug. 3) by Howard L. Simon of the ACLU is a smokescreen.

Twice now federal judges have ruled that the so-called “Docs & Glocks” law does not violate First Amendment free speech rights of doctors and medical personnel. The law stops pediatricians and other physicians from prying into our personal lives, invading our privacy and straying from issues relating to disease and medicine into questioning children or their parents about gun ownership and guns in the home. 

Read, “Free speech is no threat to gun ownership,” by Howard L. Simon posted  in the Tallahassee Democrat on August 4, 2015.

In both rulings, the court made it clear that the law is an appropriate regulation of professional speech. The state has a duty to protect the rights of vulnerable patients against doctors who use their examining rooms to interrogate parents and children about gun ownership for the purpose of delivering their anti-gun political messages.


If a patient answers questions like, “Do you own a gun?” or “Do your children have access to guns in your home?” or “Did you know that having a gun in your home triples your risk of becoming a homicide victim?,” the patient is likely to be given the “Advice to parents” the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends on their website: “Never have a gun in the home. Do not purchase a gun. Remove all guns present in the home.” That is not medical care. That is politics.

That political motivation has nothing to do with the health care and medical treatment we seek for our children and for which we are paying when we enter a doctor’s office. 

Read, Federal court says state can enforce ‘doc vs. glocks’ law by Gary Fineout in the Tallahassee Democrat posted on July 29, 2015.

Further, these questions are ethically wrong. Any doctor who asks them is committing a form of unethical conduct known as an “ethical boundary violation.” Any doctor who commits an ethical boundary violation can and should be disciplined. We need to be able to trust our doctors. Doctors who intentionally step over that ethical and legal boundary clearly cannot be trusted.


Other ethical boundaries don’t allow doctors to take advantage of vulnerable elderly patients and question them about property and assets they own, allow them to encourage these elderly patients to make gifts of cars, jewelry or other assets to the doctor, or make the doctor a beneficiary in a will.

Additionally, entering the answers to gun ownership questions into medical records and computer databases is a de facto form of registration of gun owners and is already prohibited by law.

Any pediatrician truly concerned about gun safety is free to hand out gun safety brochures to all parents. The First Amendment smokescreen that is being used to excuse unethical and political abuse of patients privacy rights needs to stop and doctors should stick to medical care.

Marion P. Hammer is a past president of the National Rifle Association and current executive director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida.

 

IN THIS ARTICLE
Florida Patient privacy
TRENDING NOW
Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Today, March 21, the provisions of the critical self-defense legislation, Sub. Senate Bill 199, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Kasich last December.  This law ...

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Today, the Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 724, an anti-gun bill which undermines some of the key advancements made with the passage and enactment of House Bill 1249.  SB 724 is now headed to the ...

Oklahoma: Multiple Pro-Gun Bills Passed Out of the House

Friday, March 24, 2017

Oklahoma: Multiple Pro-Gun Bills Passed Out of the House

This week, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed multiple pro-gun bills, including House Bill 1721, House Bill 2323, and House Bill 2322. 

Utah: Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Utah: Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Tonight, Governor Gary Herbert signed House Bill 198 into law.

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 on second reading.

Texas: Two Important Handgun Carry Bills to be Considered in Senate and House Next Week

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Texas: Two Important Handgun Carry Bills to be Considered in Senate and House Next Week

On Monday, March 27, the Texas Senate will convene after 2:00pm and is expected to take up and consider Senate Bill 16, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by State Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Joan Huffman (R-Houston).

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Yesterday, March 21, the Senate passed anti-gun Senate Bill 115 with a 12-9 vote.  SB 115 was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.  Sponsored by state Senator Moises Denis (D-2), SB 115 would expand the list ...

Continuing to Fight in California

Friday, March 24, 2017

Continuing to Fight in California

We are excited to inform you of our new California specific webpage – Stand and Fight California.   On this page you will find State Legislation, Legal Updates, and How to Get Involved, among other California ...

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.