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Docs Prevail In 'Docs Versus Glocks' Legal Fight

Florida is no longer the only state that regulates what doctors say to their patients about guns.

Tallahassee pediatrician Louis St. Petery heralds the state's decision to no longer defend the controversial, 2011 law known as "Docs Versus Glocks."Credit WCTV Edit | Remove

The law critics dubbed “Docs versus Glocks” is history now that lawyers for the governor allowed a 90-day deadline to run without appealing an 11 th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

And that’s just fine with Tallahassee pediatrician and plaintiff Dr. Louis St. Petery, who says doctors warn parents about car seats, vaccinations and swimming pools all the time. He says guns should be no different.

“And if they have a gun we want to counsel them about the proper storage of that gun. So the gun should at least have a trigger lock. It shouldn’t be where kids could reach it. Ideally, the ammunition would be stored separate from the gun where the two aren’t together.”

But National Rifle Association Lobbyist Marion Hammer says some patients were being harassed just because they owned guns.

“When people go to a doctor for medical care, they don’t go to a doctor for gun safety information. And they were putting gun ownership information into medical records that could be accessed by government and by insurance companies.”

Groups like the American Civil Liberties Union argued the law violated free speech rights. For the most part, the federal courts agreed.

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Jim Ash is a reporter at WFSU-FM. A Miami native, he is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience, most of it in print. He has been a member of the Florida Capital Press Corps since 1992.