[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
Curated health policy research and original commentary from across the JAMA Network
[Skip to Content Landing]
JAMA Forum

Physicians’ First Amendment Rights to Discuss Firearms With Patients Upheld in Florida

A federal judge has ruled that the state of Florida may not enforce a “firearm gag rule”—a law backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) that banned physicians practicing in the state from discussing gun ownership with their patients.

The Florida Privacy of Firearm Owners Act, which came into force last July, requires licensed health care practitioners to “respect a patient’s right to privacy” and refrain from asking about gun ownership or the presence of firearms in their homes. It also said clinicians should refrain from discriminating against patients based solely on a patient’s “firearm ownership or possession.”

Medical groups challenged the constitutionality of the legislation. On June 29, federal District Judge Marcia Cooke struck down the statute as a violation of physicians’ First Amendment rights to openly discuss firearm safety with their patients. The court found that the statute “aims to restrict a practitioner’s ability to provide truthful, non-misleading information to a patient.”1

Limit 200 characters
Limit 25 characters
Conflicts of Interest Disclosure

Identify all potential conflicts of interest that might be relevant to your comment.

Conflicts of interest comprise financial interests, activities, and relationships within the past 3 years including but not limited to employment, affiliation, grants or funding, consultancies, honoraria or payment, speaker's bureaus, stock ownership or options, expert testimony, royalties, donation of medical equipment, or patents planned, pending, or issued.

Err on the side of full disclosure.

If you have no conflicts of interest, check "No potential conflicts of interest" in the box below. The information will be posted with your response.

Not all submitted comments are published. Please see our commenting policy for details.

Limit 140 characters
Limit 3600 characters or approximately 600 words