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Senate loosens gun laws – muzzles docs, okays ‘open carry’ lite

by Dara Kam | April 28th, 2011

With NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer sitting in the front row of the public gallery, the Florida Senate easily approved three bills loosening gun laws, including a measure banning doctors from asking their patients about gun ownership.

Two other measures are now headed to Gov. Rick Scott, an NRA member and gun owner who has said he would sign them into law.

The “open carry” bill (HB 45), watered down yesterday, would protect concealed weapons permit owners from being prosecuted if their guns are accidentally exposed. Proponents of the measure say that current law could subject the inadvertent display of weapons to being charged with a felony.

The third (HB 155) would punish local officials with a fine for passing gun laws stricter than the state’s, already prohibited under state law.

Law enforcement officials opposed the open carry bill, saying it would make their jobs more dangerous.

And barring health care providers from asking safety questions about the presence of weapons in the household could endanger the lives of children and have a chilling effect on the doctor-patient relationship, pediatricians have argued.

Firearm injury is the leading cause of death for children and teens, said Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich of Weston.

“Adolescents know about firearms. Children know about firearms and they know where they are. This Republican Party is a party of less government and this is the party that brings us more government intrusion that encroaches into the privacy of a doctor’s office and the doctor-patient relationship,” she said.

But Sen. Alan Hays, a retired dentist, said “it’s none of my business what kind of weapons if any” patients have in their homes.

“If it’s medically necessary you may inquire but otherwise stay out of the private business of your patient,” said Hays, R-Umatilla. The bill passed by a 27-10 vote.

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49 Responses to “Senate loosens gun laws – muzzles docs, okays ‘open carry’ lite”

  1. Abe Says:

    The sector of law enforcement opposed to the open carry is politically motivated.

    The cops I’ve talked with say they prefer knowing if someone is carrying.

  2. Stu Pidd Says:

    I have a bazooka. Is it okay to carry that around? You know, like when I’m walkin’ thru the mall or at the beach? Just wonderin’.

  3. Rob PBG, FL Says:

    To ALL gun owners: Remember that Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff fought hard to water-down and basically knock the teeth out of the open-carry bill and limit the rights of gun owners. Lets work just as hard to make sure she is NOT elected for another term.

  4. mrFLgunowner Says:

    This is not an open carry bill passed by the Senate. It is a watered down nothing that claims if you accidently expose a firearm you will not be prosecuted. Who is to say if something is accidental. The NRA caves in again. We need a true open carry law like other states where it works perfectly. What a bunch of crap the Senate passed. Rick Scott should not sign this bill. Make them take it back and pass a true open carry law. This is useless.

  5. Independent Says:

    They let people with dementia behind the wheel of a 4,000lb vehicle so why not give them a gun too?

  6. Mr. Bojangles Says:

    This doctor crap of not treating patients that admit to owning handguns is BS.

  7. dark gator Says:

    Not to be outdone by Arizona, Florida moves farther ahead in the wackiest state contest!

  8. Ben Says:

    People have some strange misconceptions about guns. 1st, the cop isn’t going to know I’m carrying- until he pulls me over questions me. 2nd- I’m not going to wear my gun on my hip, regardless IF the law allowed open carry. Guns are valuable. A 2×4 to the head from behind doesn’t do me much good, even if I have my gun. It just makes me a target. If you can’t see it, you can’t covet it. Also, it gives me a tactical advantage in confrontation. Go on ahead thinking you’re a bad ass. When you’ve 16 rounds of .40 locked and loaded, few people (no one) will defeat you without an element of ambush or surprise.

  9. TeabaggerTom Says:

    I won’t be happy until I can openly carry my AK-47 to pick up my child from elementary school or visit my grandma at the nursing home.

  10. patty Says:

    Your right mrFLgunowner and I agree with you. Hoping they will improve this as you say. I would feel more safer being able to carry my weapon openly. Lets be real Stu Pidd, there are some weapons that cannot be carried legally such as a bazooka for they are not made for protection but for destruction.

  11. Leading Cause Of Death In Florida Is Says:

    The leading cause of death in Florida in all age brackets is medical doctors!

    That’s why they have been working to get our guns away, they can’t stand the competition!

    Who in their right mind would put their life in the hands of someone who admits they don’t really know what they are doing are are in fact simply “practicing?”

  12. Nuff said Says:

    Hey Teabbagger Tom, That sure would make for a much more polite society, now wouldn’t it? I carry simply because I want the right to shoot back and not be a patsy victim. In 15 years no occasion has arisen that would require me to even reveal I have a weapon. Until you can guarentee me that I won’t need one in the next 15 years I’ll stay armed for my protection and those who might need help.

  13. I am prepared and feel safer Says:

    Only owners who have taken a safety class and has a legal license it allowed to carry. So why does this worry so many so badly. All the bad guys have a weapon of some sort. We will never get them away from them. At least we CAN carry. Imagine how bad it would be IF the criminals KNEW for sure we had no equal or better defense. I am glad I have a chance to defend myself or another if I have to. I do not plan to show it off while I am out. I want the advantage of surprise should one of the losers or thugs that are everywhere now decide I am their next victim. IF one person had been packing at the college not as many people would have been killed that is for sure. The world is a scary place. It would be a whole lot scarier if law abiding citizens where not allowed to carry. Guns do kill people. Stupid and bad people do. If you have kids take precautions.

  14. dark gator Says:

    This just in — Arizona says they will not stand idly by and let Florida grab all the wacky headlines; Arizona reminds Florida that it permits open carrying of guns (and knives too) in bars, restaurants, and college campuses!

  15. it's all about the money Says:

    This doesn’t have as much to do with gun control as it does lobbyist money. Our trusty governor has proven over and over that he will do anything so that his fat cat buddies can get even fatter. We won’t recognize Florida after he is done with us.

  16. Rob PBG, FL Says:

    Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff, Obama’s new BBF is responsible for killing the open carry provision in the bill, lets be sure to thank her and her antigun lobbying friends.

  17. Randolph Hearst Says:

    The headline writer has not read the article. Accidental, brief exposure is a far cry from open carry.

    But then again this is the Palm Beach Post, a far cry from an objective journal.

  18. common sense Says:

    “The world is a scary place.” That’s a pretty big objective assumption on which to base public policy on. I dont think anyone cares anymore about gun laws, everyone is tired of the crybaby NRA. The fact is states with the most lenient gun laws are generally where most mass shootings occur (Arizona, Virginia, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas.) States with stricter gun control have less occurances of mass shootings, so the whole argument that “if everyone had a gun there would be no mass shootings” goes out the window. Most mass shootings that kill innocent bystanders are not perpetrated by common criminals, but previously law abiding people that snap because they are mentally ill. Restrict access to the guns in the first place removes the need for guns in the general population period.

  19. Ang Quisle Says:

    What’s really killing everyone here is BLIND, DRUNK and WILD DRIVERS. Now if you want to add GUNS to the Craziness, Iam sure the NRA won’t mind the money. As for the fool that says he wants to carry an AK47, he should go live in the middle east. The Lady is right however, criminals will always be able to get a weapons. The question is do you want to go backwards and raise children in the WILD, WILD WEST(like ARIZONA) I guess is a personal CHOICE.

  20. JJG Says:

    Doctors are the root of all our problems.
    Agree with Gov Scott that any doctor or
    girl who performs or gets an abortion should be charged with murder and get the death penalty. Similarly if the evil physicians of our state interefere with gun ownership in any way, such as inquiring about gun safety, they should be banned from practicing and perhaps sentenced. Freedom is something the State Government must get involved with and I’m happy to see that the Florida Legislature is actively involved in enforcing and surveillance the freedom of the most important people in this state, that being the fetuses and gun owners!

  21. JJG Says:

    Will this allow me to wear a sidearm while picketing an abortion clinic?

  22. steve Says:

    With over 4 million members I dont think everyone is tired of the NRA. I bet crime rates are lower where guns are permited. common sense.

  23. mrFLgunowner Says:

    No common sense your wrong. The states and areas with the most strict gun laws are the toilets. Look at New York City, Camden and Newark NY, Washington DC, Chicago, IL. These are the crapholes of the country with high crime and strict gun laws. Get some common sense.

  24. limpwrist Says:

    Rick Scott has a mob associate in his leadership coalition. Meet Joe Ardolina of American Truck Sales. He’s a former vice president in the now defunct H&W Refuse Service whose president was Anthony Carione, fingered by law enforcement along with his brother Frank Carione, as then active figures in the underworld. Another brother, Joseph Carione, plead guilty to defrauding the government as a co-defendant in a case that involved Colombo crime boss Andrew Russo. bit.ly/edERUe

  25. HoHumm Says:

    “If it’s medically necessary you may inquire but otherwise stay out of the private business of your patient,” said Hays, R-Umatilla. The bill passed by a 27-10 vote.

    Gotta love this line from a typical republican!!! Stay out of the PRIVATE business of your patient? How about practicing what you breach with all the abortion bills the republicans are passing!!!!! Is that not private for the individual??? Hypocrites!!!!

  26. Stu Pidd Says:

    To Patty: One persons destruction is another persons protection. Ask the Israelis!

  27. lol Says:

    how embarrassing. this is the dumbest state in the entire country. this is why america is in a free fall. dumb people.

  28. minitruck Says:

    “The fact is states with the most lenient gun laws are generally where most mass shootings occur”

    Well all righty then common sense, just take yourself a little stroll through Taylor Homes in Chicagos south side, some Saturday night. Remember in Chicago only police officers are allowed handguns, and them only while on duty. so you should be safe as in your own bed. Right?

    (I could also name sections of Detroit, New York, LA, St Louis, or even Miami, if that’s more to your liking.)

    This law would change nothing except You might SEE one of those inanimate objects you fear so much.
    They are there already.

  29. Independent Says:

    If you ban guns only criminals will own guns…..I’m all for gun control, but in reality it’s too late for that. Too many guns on the streets. The cops are not allowed to protect us or themselves so law abiding citizens need to protect themselves from the parasites of society. Sad but reality I’m afraid….

  30. Darwinist Says:

    With Obamacare mandating physicians have electronic medical records or they will have decreased reimbursement for federally sponsored healthcare it would be great to access those records to see which homes have firearms so when the time arrives they can be confiscated.

  31. Randolph Hearst Says:

    Someone woke-up in the PBP newsroom and changed the headline.

  32. flcrzr Says:

    Sorry folks, guns aren’t the leading cause of teen deaths. Motor vehicle accidents lead 27.1% to 12.2% for firearms. Cars cause more deaths by 2 to 1 but no one is racing to ban cars.

  33. Lyric Says:

    You guntoters sound really paranoid – you don’t need a gun, you need a psychiatrist. Only people with psychological issues think they are being “threatened” by every other human being on the planet and need a gun to protect themselves.

  34. Orion Says:

    Way to go Post… Another misleading headline.

    “Open Carry” is still not allowed. The bill, “would protect concealed weapons permit owners from being prosecuted if their guns are accidentally exposed.”

    That is a lot different from open carry.
    My high school put out a better paper than the Post.

  35. Orion Says:

    Lyric – contact your local PD and go for a ride one evening…

  36. Not buying all of it Says:

    Ellen Bogdanoff anti guns and pro illegal aliens

  37. Ron Says:

    The open carry bill in the House of Representatives is not HB45, it is HB517. I believe the house language for that bill is still full open carry . The Senate version SB234, which was adopted with amendment 688734 on 4/28 states-

    “It is not a violation of this section for a person licensed to carry a concealed firearm as provided in s. 790.06(1), and who is lawfully carrying a firearm in a concealed manner, to briefly and openly display the firearm to the ordinary sight of another person, unless the firearm is intentionally displayed in an angry or threatening manner, not in necessary self-defense.”

    I am guessing both houses must agree on the wording of the final bill before it is sent to the governor to sign into law.

  38. BigArch Says:

    Nan Rich said that firearm injury is the leading cause of death for children and teens. That m’lady is a complete lie and you have to know it. Firearm injury is nowhere near the top of that list and I imagine that more kids are injuried and killed playing football or baseball than with firearms which is way down the list of causes.

  39. Bill Neubauer Says:

    I think the cops have the wrong perspective in opposing “open carry.” My memory goes back to the shooter who attacked patrons at Wendy’s (?) there on Military Trail. There is no way a cop could have got there in time to stop that. But a patron with a weapon handy could either have scared the shooter off–or ended his life while safeguarding the other patrons.

  40. Jeffy Says:

    “Common Sense” wrote:
    “The fact is states with the most lenient gun laws are generally where most mass shootings occur (Arizona, Virginia, Colorado, Nebraska, Texas.) States with stricter gun control have less occurances of mass shootings, so the whole argument that “if everyone had a gun there would be no mass shootings” goes out the window.”

    You don’t appear to have much common sense, then.

    Have you forgotten the perennially ridiculous murder rate of Washington, D.C., and the sky-high violent crime rate of New York City during the heyday of gun control? How about the notoriously high gun crime rate in gun-ban Chicago?! Or dumps like Newark, New Jersey? When cities and states have instituted gun control and gun bans, their crime rates have gone UP.

    What about the infamous mass-murders that have taken place in California, which is well-known for being hostile to gun ownership? What about the ’95 LIRR shooting by Colin Ferguson in NY?

    On the other hand, you’ve cherry-picked some locations of mass shootings, and ignored that mass shootings also take place in states with tight gun control. Not only that, but the states with tight gun control have OVERALL higher gun crime rates than states with lenient gun laws. Your assessment is more of a delusion.

    Since Florida led the way in 1987 with shall-issue concealed carry licensure, MORE THAN FORTY OTHER STATES have followed, and guess what! VIOLENT CRIME HAS ACTUALLY ~DECREASED~ in those states!

    Sell your lies somewhere else.

  41. Jeffy Says:

    I must point out that if doctors are concerned that this law will prohibit them from helping families prevent accidental shootings, THERE IS NOTHING TO STOP DOCTORS FROM HANDING OUT LITERATURE DESIGNED TO INFORM PARENTS OF HOW TO SAFELY STORE GUNS AND KEEP KIDS FROM GETTING HURT. Even if they can’t ask, “Do you own any guns?” they can still say, “I don’t know if you own any guns, and I’m not asking, but I do want you to know that we have information about how to safeguard your kids against accidental harm.”

    The loonie anti-gun left is trying to pretend that this law will prevent doctors from helping. That’s an abject lie. It won’t. So what if they can’t ask parents if they own guns — they don’t have to! Just TELL PEOPLE how to store guns safely whether you know they own guns or not! Problem solved!

  42. mary lopez Says:

    But for many hardworking families, affordable insurance can be hard to find. The new “Penny Health Insurance” is giving you more control over your family’s health care by expanding your options for health insurance and making them more affordable.

  43. WildBill Says:

    Honestly, he should not sign this we need to be able to openly display our weapons. I have mixed thoughts on this topic. I do agree with Ben that the element of surprise is key, but what about the deterrent factor. For instance who is going to try to rob someone or an establishment when they are surrounded with heat? They might get the first shot off but they will be riddled with bullets after the fact, this is a major deterrent. In a perfect world we would not need guns however this isn’t perfect. I also agree “I am prepared and feel safer” Educate you children teach them proper handling techniques. Not to mention I look pretty damn spiffy rocking my gold plated mother of pearl handled Taurus’s

  44. Fire_bogdanoff Says:

    Fire that bitch Bogdanoff

  45. True-Conservative Says:

    Bogdanoff must go, what kind of conservative is she exactly? She is working some screwed up liberal agenda. Recall her now!!!

  46. Daryl Miglia Says:

    Who is Nan Rich, and where does she get her statistics? The facts are clear. Gun accidents ARE NOT the leading cause of death in children, motor vehicle accidents are. Gun accidents are not even #2 or #3. How can Dara Kam accurately report about this issue without pointing out this obvious lie?
    Come on folks. If we are going to haver intelligent dibate about this issue, let’s at least be truthful with one another.

  47. Keyman Says:

    The govenor should not sign this bill. We need a totally open carry bill. Even if you don’t open carry. Carring concealed will give you the advantage against the thugs, who don’t think you are carrying.

  48. Tillman Says:

    No truth here-

    “Firearm injury is the leading cause of death for children and teens, said Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich of Weston”

    Firearms account for less than 1% in the age groups:

    Here are the facts from Source: National Center for Health Statistics

    National Vital Statistics Reports March 7, 2005

    Top 20 Causes of Death – Kids (5 – 9)

    Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths No of Deaths Percent
    All Deaths 3018 3018 100.00%
    1 Unintentional Injury 1176 38.97%
    * Mohor Vehicle Traffic 621 20.58%
    * Drowning 159 5.27%
    * Fire/burn 153 5.07%
    * Suffocation 40 1.33%
    * Other Land Transport 33 1.09%
    * Pedestrian, Other 27 0.89%
    * Struck by or Against 20 0.66%
    * Unspecified 20 0.66%
    * Fall 18 0.60%
    * Other Spec., classifiable 17 0.56%
    * Poisoning 15 0.50%
    * Firearm 14 0.46%
    * Other Transport 12 0.40%
    * Other Spec., NEC 8 0.27%
    * Natural/ Environment 7 0.23%
    * Machinery 6 0.20%
    * Pedal cyclist, Other 4 0.13%
    * Cut/pierce
    op 20 Causes of Death – Young Teen (10 – 14)

    Rank Cause of Death Total Deaths No of Deaths Percent
    All Deaths 4132 4132 100.00%
    1 Unintentional Injury 1542 37.32%
    * MV Traffic 874 21.15%
    * Drowning 162 3.92%
    * Fire/burn 101 2.44%
    * Other Land Transport 80 1.94%
    * Suffocation 70 1.69%
    * Firearm 34 0.82%
    * Poisoning 28 0.68%
    * Other Transport 27 0.65%
    * Pedestrian, Other 26 0.63%
    * Fall 24 0.58%
    * Struck by or Against 22 0.53

  49. SafeGunOwner Says:

    I wish open carry was allowed but only to use it for when I go fishing, camping, hiking etc. I dont believe walking down the road with a gun hanging out is a good idea. I will be happy if they agree to not charge concealed carry permit holders with any punishment for accidentally exposing their gun. Concealing with an open shirt helps to conceal a gun and be readily available for a quick draw. The issue is that the wind picks up and all of a sudden there you are brandishing the gun. 5 min later your in handcuffs. If oppen carry is allowed it would take that whole worry off gun holder’s mind.

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