Judge tosses Florida ban on doctors asking patients about guns

A federal judge has blocked the state of Florida from…

A federal judge has blocked the state of Florida from enforcing a law pushed by firearms advocates that banned thousands of doctors from discussing gun ownership with their patients.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke, who had already issued a preliminary injunction last September, made her decision permanent late Friday when she ruled in favor of groups of physicians who asserted that the law violated their free speech rights. She said the law was so “vague” that it violated the First Amendment rights of doctors, noting that the legislation’s privacy provisions “fail to provide any standards for practitioners to follow.”

The state Department of Health could appeal her summary judgment, which addressed legislation signed into law last year by Gov. Rick Scott.

In her ruling, Cooke clearly sided with the physicians, saying evidence showed that physicians began “self-censoring” because of the “chilling” effect of the legislation.

Read more at the Seattle Times

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