The editorial board argues that the Florida law which prohibited doctors from speaking to their patients about guns was in violation of the First Amendment. The board also claims the striking down of key parts of the law by the U.S. Court of Appeals will ultimately help doctors encourage safe gun storage practices.
The opinion piece cites a study that found people are three times as likely to safely store their guns after speaking to their doctors about safe gun-storage practices.
The editorial board also notes that prominent medical organizations, such as the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, think it healthy for doctors to speak with their patients about gun safety, especially those patients with children.
Supporters of the law, including the NRA, thought it necessary to protect gun owners’ Second Amendment rights and privacy. However, the federal appeals court ruled that the Second Amendment does not “preclude questions about, commentary on, or criticism for the exercise of that right.”
The editorial board highlights the fact that a majority of the judges said the state had not shown evidence of doctors improperly disclosing gun owners’ information. The piece also notes that the patients can still refuse to answer questions about gun ownership.