On Friday, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a controversial Florida law that bans doctors from asking patients if they have guns in their homes. Following the decision, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a decision that pretty much encouraged Florida pediatricians to keep breaking the so called "docs vs glocks" law.
The AAP was one of a number of physicians groups that sued the state over the Rick Scott-signed law, and originally won a case blocking the law back in 2012. The three judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court overturned that decision. The APP and its co-defendants however plan to further appeal the law.
In the meantime, the APP is urging members to keep asking parents if they keep guns in the home.
"Because of the proven value of physician counseling in preventing injury and death, the AAP is advising its members in Florida and throughout the United States to continue to uphold the standard of medical practice and ask about the presence of guns in the environments of children, and to counsel their patients and patients' parents about the importance of storing guns safely," reads a statement from the group.
"We strongly disagree with the 11th Circuit's decision. It is an egregious violation of the First Amendment rights of pediatricians and threatens our ability to provide our patients and their families with scientific, unbiased information," said Mobeen Rathore, MD, FAAP, president of the Florida chapter of the AAP, in the statement. "This dangerous decision gives state legislatures free license to restrict physicians from asking important questions about health and safety that are vital to providing the best medical care to patients."
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The law was originally passed in 2011 with the backing of the National Riffle Association. Of course when the NRA says "jump," Florida's Republican-controlled legislature usually asks, "How high?"
The law came about when a couple in Ocala refused to talk to their doctor about guns, so the doctor refused to see them. So they complained to their local state legislature, and voila, the law passed.
Though, the injunction placed on the law in 2012 still remains in effect, so the law will remain unenforced for now.