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11th Circuit panel issues third decision on MD advice on firearms

Florida's curbs on doctors' discussions of guns with their patients became yet more complicated December 14. That day, a three-judge panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for Eleventh Circuit issued a third version of its decision in a case challenging, on free speech grounds, a Florida law that prohibits doctors from asking their patients about firearm ownership.

The opinion in Wollschlaeger v. Governor of Florida was the second revision of the panel’s original opinion. While reaffirming the validity of the law, the decision analyzed the law under a stricter standard.

The case involved a challenge to Florida’s Firearm Owners Privacy Act, which prohibits medical practitioners, on pain of professional discipline, from inquiring about the firearm ownership of a patient or their family unless the practitioner has a good-faith belief that the “information is relevant to the patient’s medical care or safety, or the safety of others.”

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