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House approves two gun bills on Hammer’s birthday

by John Kennedy | April 26th, 2011

A compromise between two big Republican backers — the Florida Medical Association and the National Rifle Association — cleared the GOP-dominated House Tuesday, setting new standards for doctors treating gun-owning patients and families.

The legislation (CS/HB 155) bars health care professionals from including in a patient’s health record information about gun ownership, unless it is relevant to medical care or the safety of others. An earlier version of the bill would have made doctors subject to 5 years in prison or $5,000 fines if they asked about a patient’s gun ownership.

The measure was approved 88-30.

“Owning guns is a fundamental right,” said Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka. “It’s not to be infringed upon by your doctor.”

During debate, several lawmakers paid homage to longtime Affiliated Sportsmen of Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer, seated in the House gallery and celebrating a birthday Tuesday. She described the timing as “coincidence.”

Moments later, the House voted 85-33 to OK another measure (CS/HB 45) prohibiting cities and counties from attempting to enact local gun laws tougher than state standards. State law already pre-empts such local measures, but several governments have attempted to impose restrictions, which typically lead to lawsuits.

The House legislation would make city or county officials subject to non-criminal penalties for violating the new standard. Fines could range from $5,000 to as much as $100,000, under the legislation.

“This is bigger government,” said Rep. Luis Garcia, D-Miami. “This is something that should not happen.”

But Rep. Paige Kreegel, R-Punta Gorda, said the legislation was needed, “to put some teeth into the law.”

Palm Beach County Commissioner Burt Aaronson  said he he had sought to avoid any conflict with state gun laws earlier this session when he lobbied lawmakers in support of a measure that would have limited the sale of high-volume ammunition clips, a proposal inspired by the shooting of Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords earlier this year. 

The legislation had strong county support, Aaronson said. But the legislation, proposed by Rep. Lori Berman and Sen. Maria Sachs,  both Delray Beach Democrats, has languished all session.

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15 Responses to “House approves two gun bills on Hammer’s birthday”

  1. Arbar Says:

    How many jobs will this bill create?

    Does “none” sound about right?

  2. Bob Tipton Says:

    Arbar – This bill is titled the “EMS and Trauma Unit Full Employment Act.”

  3. Arbar Says:


    Not sure where you’re getting your info.

    The respective bill titles are;

    CS/HB 155 – Privacy of Firearm Owners

    CS/HB 45 – Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition

    So nothing about jobs or the economy, as I said.

  4. Chris Says:

    Arbar You didn’t seem to notice but I think Bob’s post is what some of us refer to as sarcasm.

  5. Pray4Peace Says:

    Are makers of potentially lethal household cleaners and bug sprays going to be up in arms if doctors ask parents if those products are locked away?

    Doctors should be able to ask about potentially lethal guns. Parents should not have to answer.

  6. carl rove Says:

    These guys answer to no one but their party and the lobbyists that pay them, as seen by these two useless bills.

  7. mrmc Says:

    This is good. Another step in the right direction for gun rights. Open Carry is next. Then the stupid restrictions on concealed weapon owners on where they cannot carry should be removed as well.

  8. James Says:

    I particularly like CS/HB 45. It is not “big government” to protect the rights of the citizens from other, “smaller” governments. In fact, the Federal Government should do something like this to back up a number of it’s laws.

  9. Big Johnson Says:

    @mrmc – Do you mean the “stupid” restrictions on concealed carry in place that serves alcohol, or on the grounds of a school, or in government buildings? I’ve seen some pretty flakey people at the range that shouldn’t be allowed within 1,000 feet of a firearm.

  10. Mario Says:

    Big Johnson: Yes, THOSE stupid restrictions…..

    Re your “range” comment — what qualifies you yo make such judgements? Are you privy to these people’s criminal or mental health history or do you just not like the way they look? I thought so.

  11. Mario Says:

    carl rove: They answer to the voters that voted them in…… people like me….. and in passing these bills, they ARE doing part of what people like me sent them up there to do……

    I think they call that “representative democracy”

  12. david robinson Says:

    Gee, if all the politicians upheld their oath of office. The one in which they swore to “UPHOLD THE CONSTITUTION.” There wouldn’t be any need to continue passing bills like these. If they possessed just a small bit of honesty and integrity. The same would hold true. Gun control has nothing to do with controling crime and everything to do with controling people, law biding people.

  13. Ron Says:

    Florida CCW permit holders can carry in establishments that serve alcohol as long as they don’t go into that “portion of the establishment that is primarily devoted to that purpose,” meaning the bar area. You can sit at a table or booth in the dining area and order an alcoholic drink, with or without a meal.

  14. Harvey Says:

    All you have to do is look at Libya to realize the need for laws to protect our second amendment. Why our fore fathers put it in the constitution. I don’t understand people who don’t support these laws. It’s for their protection and rights also. Would you rather lose this right and be at the mercy of whoever?

  15. Stu Strickler Says:

    Both are good bills. It is none of a Doctor’s business if I own firearms.

    Some localities were violating state law and thumbing their noses at the state legislature. I’m pleased with both laws! I carry 24/7 and have had a Florida permit for many years. I follow state laws and not what some local yokel thinks!

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