Doctors Threaten to Sue Over NRA-Backed "Glocktor" Law

It's not often that there's a showdown between the NRA and doctors, but anything goes in the Sunshine State.

Three Florida medical groups are threatening to sue over the "docs and Glocks" law -- we're going with "Glocktor" because it sounds more brutal -- a Gov. Rick Scott-approved piece of legislation that makes it illegal for doctors to ask patients if they own a gun.

While the bill was awaiting the governor's signature, the NRA sent out an "urgent alert" asking for its members to pressure him into enacting the bill into law.

The bill description from the NRA states the law "would STOP pediatricians from invading privacy rights of gun owners and bringing anti-gun politics into medical examining rooms."

"As parents, we are responsible for our children's safety," writes Marion Hammer, the former NRA president. "We don't need doctors pushing their anti-gun politics on us or our children. We need them to spend their time practicing medicine and not prying into our personal lives on issues that have nothing to do with disease, its cure, or its eradication."

(Yes, that's the same Marion Hammer who helped overrule a vote by Florida kids in selecting the state bird.)

Anyway, the doctors obviously have a different stance on the issue -- they think it'd be nice to know if their suicidal patient has a gun under his or her pillow.

The docs say they ask patients plenty of safety-related questions not including guns, like chemicals around the house, bike helmets, swimming pools, and car seats, among other things.

That's why lawyers -- on behalf of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Florida Chapter of the American College of Physicians -- sent Gov. Scott a letter a few days before he signed the bill into law, threatening to sue if he did just that.

To the medical groups, it's a First Amendment issue.

"[The legislation] would cause immediate and irreparable harm to the rights that our organizations, their members, and physicians' patients have under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States," they write. "Accordingly, this legislation is unconstitutional, and we urge you to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure that it does not become law."

The letter goes on to say that the law "deprives patients of potentially life-saving information" that can protect their children, families, or anyone else from injury."

"For these reasons, we intend to file a lawsuit against you and other state officials in the event that this legislation becomes law," the letter says.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley