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Judge tosses law banning doctors from asking about guns

Posted Jul 2, 2012 by William March

Updated Jul 2, 2012 at 04:25 PM

A federal judge has ruled unconstitutional a new Florida law that banned doctors from asking their patients whether they have guns in their homes, saying it abridged the First Amendments rights of physicians, according to an announcement by a law firm involved in the case.

The state chapters of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians and American College of Physicians, plus six individual doctors, filed papers a year ago opposing the law, passed in last year’s session of the Florida Legislature with the backing of the National Rifle Association.

A preliminary injunction in September blocked enforcement of the law, and Judge Marcia Cooke of the U.S. Southern District in Miami issued a permanent injunction Monday, said the announcement from Ropes & Gray, lawyers for the physicians.

The doctors argued that conversations with their patients about gun safety, particularly involving children, were a legitimate and necessary part of their practice.