Law Shield reports that a federal appellate court denied a request for en banc review to re-hear the “Docs vs. Glocks” case, a challenge to a Florida statute that prevents healthcare professionals from inquiring about a patient’s firearms.
More accurately known as Wollschlaeger v. Florida, the named plaintiff in the case was Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger.
According to court documents, Dr. Wollschlaeger asked his patients to complete a questionnaire that included questions regarding firearm ownership, and routinely asked patients orally whether they owned firearms if other risk factors were present—such as when patients had children in the home, were suffering from addiction, depression, or suicidal ideation, had an unstable family environment, or were involved in a domestic-violence situation—to provide firearm safety counseling tailored to the patient’s circumstances.
After passage of the Act, Dr. Wollschlaeger removed the firearms-related questions from his questionnaire and no longer orally asked questions regarding firearm ownership or discussed firearms as part of his standard preventative counseling. Other physicians in the suit likewise limited their practice of asking about firearms.
In 2011, a Miami U.S. District Court stopped the state Firearm Owners’ Privacy Act from going into effect. It was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott after passage by the state legislature.
The case then went to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, which a year ago handed down a 2-1 ruling reversing the lower court.
The denial for en banc review effectively ends the matter, unless further legal action is taken. That means the law is in effect in Florida, and physicians are prohibited from interrogating and lecturing parents and children about guns.
Do you agree with this law? Have you ever had a doctor ask you about firearms in your home during an appointment or visit?
See our previous coverage of the topic here.
Click here to read the decision.