Federal Judge Voids FL Law Barring Doctors Talking About Guns


A federal judge blocked Florida from enforcing a new law pushed by firearm advocates that banned thousands of doctors from discussing gun ownership with their patients, reports the Miami Herald. U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke ruled in favor of groups of physicians who asserted the state violated their free speech rights. She said the law was so “vague” that it violated the First Amendment rights of doctors, noting the legislation's privacy provisions “fail to provide any standards for practitioners to follow.”

The physicians' lawsuit, an ideological battle between advocates of free speech and the right to bear arms, has been dubbed “Docs vs. Glocks.” The state could appeal her summary judgment, which addressed legislation signed by Gov. Rick Scott. Cooke said, “What is curious about this law — and what makes it different from so many other laws involving practitioners' speech — is that it aims to restrict a practitioner's ability to provide truthful, non-misleading information to a patient, whether relevant or not at the time of the consult with the patient,” citing the benefit of “preventive medicine.”

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