In Florida, Republicans in that state’s legislature are pushing a bill to prohibit physicians from asking patients whether they own a gun.
We’re told a similar firearms privacy measure is being prepared for Georgia, and will hit within the next few weeks.
Over the past three decades, Jeff Goldhagen has counseled countless parents on how to keep their kids safe around guns. The Jacksonville pediatrician usually begins the conversations with a question: Do you own any firearms?
That kind of inquiry could land him in jail for up to five years or cost him a $5 million fine under a measure making its way through the Florida Legislature, despite stiff resistance from medical groups. The bill would make it a felony for a physician or any medical worker to ask a patient or the patient’s family whether they own a gun.
Gun rights advocates say the bill offers critical privacy protection for firearm owners. But Goldhagen and others in the politically powerful medical lobby say a patient’s safety trumps privacy in all cases.
In response, Florida’s National Rifle Association affiliate has backed down – slightly – by offering an exception to the legislation that would shield doctors from prosecution in cases that involve mental health issues, such as a patient who is suicidal.
Attention, Medical Association of Georgia lobbyists. This is your wake-up call. Start your meters.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider