In a major defeat for the NRA, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta has struck down key portions of a Florida law that barred medical professionals from asking their patients whether they owned guns, reports The Trace. The ruling finds that the Firearms Owners Privacy Act (FOPA) — known as “Docs vs Glocks” — violates medical practitioners’ free speech rights under the First Amendment. Advocates of the law, which took effect in 2011 after intense NRA lobbying, had argued that prohibiting doctors from discussing firearm ownership with their patients was necessary to protect Second Amendment freedoms.
The court roundly rejected that argument, ruling that questions from a physician cannot in any way be construed as infringing upon an individual’s gun rights. “The Second Amendment right to own and possess firearms does not preclude questions about, commentary on, or criticism for the exercise of that right,” the court wrote in its majority decision, with one dissent. It reversed a 2015 decision by a three-judge panel that upheld the controversial law.