Doctors ask patients about gun ownership under Obama’s plan

obama_executiveactionsPresident Barack Obama held a news conference Wednesday morning to announce 23 executive actions he would be taking to address the issue of gun violence. Number 16 of states, “Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.”

Huh? The Affordable Care Act also does not prohibit physicians from asking whether I prefer Fox News or MSNBC, but why on earth would they?

Then I recalled a 2011 law passed by the Florida legislature that did just that — it prohibited medical care professionals from asking their patients about gun ownership. It was referred to as the Privacy of Firearm Owners Act, and its purpose was exactly that — to protect the privacy of patients. Distilled to its essentials, it provided “unless information is relevant to patient’s medical care or safety or safety of others, inquiries regarding firearm ownership or possession should not be made.”

The Act, unfortunately, had a very short lifespan.

Barely three months after its enactment, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke signed a temporary injunction barring the State of Florida from enforcing the law. Ten months after that, according to, she made the order permanent.

She ruled the law was so “vague” that it violated the First Amendment rights of doctors, and that the act’s privacy provisions “fail to provide any standards for practitioners to follow.”

And Obama’s statement Wednesday morning made it clear that there was nothing in any federal statute to prohibit caregivers from invading a patient’s privacy.

In recent weeks we learned how private a matter gun ownership is. The New York-based Journal News published the names and addresses of area gun permit owners and started a firestorm that is still raging to this day.

obamacare-gunThe order, on its face, sounds innocuous enough: “the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.”

But how long before, “the Affordable Care Act requires doctors to ask their patients about guns in their homes?” And then where are we?

Related posts:
Obama’s list of 23 executive orders for gun control

NRA video: ‘Are the president’s kids more important than yours?’

Sen. Rubio criticizes Obama’s use of children as props



3 thoughts on “Doctors ask patients about gun ownership under Obama’s plan

  1. Natalie says:

    I have two doctors in my family, and they just got their instructions. I can tell you, with first-hand knowledge, they ARE REQUIRED to ask whether their patients own a gun, along with several other questions from the federal gov't.

  2. Wayne says:

    Natalie, you and they are wrong. Affordable Care Act, Title X, pg 2037, line 23 on specifically forbids doctors from requiring you to answer questions about forearm use and ownership, forbids them from collecting data on firearm use and ownership, forbids them from maintaining or useing data abouot firearm use or ownership, forbids insurance compainies from using information about firearm use or ownership in determining insurance rates, and specifically gives you the right to refuse to answer questions on firearms use and ownership if they sould ask you to volunteer that information.

  3. Doug says:

    Wayne … how does your Kool Aid taste? My granddaughter was just treated by her pediatrician for asthma. During the interview the doctor asked her if there were any firearms in the home and if so how many and what kind. She is from a family of avid hunters and is very politically informed for a 12 year-old and when she refused to answer the doctor she told her that it was required by the new health care laws. She still refused and when my son-in-law learned of the questions and confronted the doctor she told him the same thing. The rational she gave was that guns in the home are a safety hazard and that the government has not just a right but a responsibility under the "Affordable Care Act" (Obama Care) to collect information about the safety of of the environment children are exposed to in their homes.

    Bull crap!! If this were true, doctors should also be required to ask about household chemicals that could be poisonous, knives and sharp objects that could cause puncture injuries, unsanitary conditions that could cause or contribute to sickness and of course any mentally unstable members of the family that could kill or injure children. This is just a covert attempt by the government of begin assembling a national registry of gun owners. The reason of course is the ultimate confiscation of weapons from law abiding citizens. Open your eyes. Quit acting like the good German before it is too late.

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