Scott fires back over docs and guns, appeals ruling blocking lawby Dara Kam | July 30th, 2012
Gov. Rick Scott, as expected, is appealing a judge’s ruling that permanently blocked a law barring doctors from asking patients about guns from going into effect.
U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke earlier this month issued a permanent injunction banning enforcement of the “Firearm Owner’s Privacy Act,” pushed by the National Rifle Association, ruling the law unconstitutionally violates physicians’ freedom of speech.
“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. I signed this legislation into law because I believe it is constitutional and I will continue to defend it,” Scott said in a statement announcing the state Department of Health was appealing.
The Florida chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians sued Scott shortly after the he signed the act into law last year, arguing that what they called the “physician gag law” prevented doctors from doing their job.
Proponents of the measure said the law prevented discrimination against gun owners, some of whom had complained that doctors were using questions about firearms to discourage gun ownership.